Modculture - a modernist forum

Movies and books => Books and other printed media => Topic started by: Modculture on March 10, 2013, 06:57:03 PM

Title: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Modculture on March 10, 2013, 06:57:03 PM
Just getting this old thread moving once agaon - let us know what pages you are turning right now.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on March 11, 2013, 05:17:26 PM
Currently struggling through Mod: A Very British Style by Richard Weight. Weight by name, heavy going by nature.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Modculture on March 11, 2013, 06:47:25 PM
Slowly working through the New London Editions fiction. Barons Court All Change done and dusted, as is Adrift in Soho by Colin Wilson (which I'll review for site in next few days).

Now onto The Furnished Room (from 1961) by Laura Del-Rivo (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Furnished-Room-Beats-Bums-Bohemians/dp/190786914X/ref=pd_sim_b_1 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Furnished-Room-Beats-Bums-Bohemians/dp/190786914X/ref=pd_sim_b_1)), which seems to be cut from the same cloth. No bad thing at all.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Mark Gallagher on March 12, 2013, 12:31:17 PM
How is Mod:A Very British Style? I think that’s next on my list

I’m halfway through Pete Townsend's Who I Am. Its a pretty good read, well written, honest and surprisingly self-depreciating. I can’t put it down
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Sharpen up on March 12, 2013, 12:47:10 PM
Just finished cider with roadies, by Stuart maconie, very funny read. Just started world war z , max brooks. Also just started the Action in the lap of the mods.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Smiler on March 12, 2013, 01:44:03 PM
http://modernistsociety.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/book-review-mod-very-british-style-by.html
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: charliebravo69 on March 12, 2013, 01:53:11 PM
http://modernistsociety.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/book-review-mod-very-british-style-by.html

Glad I ordered your book instead of that then going by that review which I only skim read!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Modculture on March 12, 2013, 03:40:01 PM
Monkey's previous references to it being hard work have stopped me from opening the first page. Like a book that's a good read, not one where you need a thesaurus to hand.

Might give it a shot this weekend, make my own mind up.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on March 12, 2013, 04:13:00 PM
Just finished Danny Baker's autobiography "Going to Sea in a Sieve". Some great no-nonsense opinions about some artists and their music. My heart normally sinks when a book ends "...but that's for volume 2" but I look forward to the sequel to this.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Diabolik on March 12, 2013, 08:58:17 PM
Just finished reading Jack's Return Home by Ted Lewis (or Get Carter as the film was called). I've seen the film countless times but didn't realise the book was actually set in Doncaster not Newcastle until I read the blurb!

Also picked up a copy of 50 Years of British Style Culture by Josh Sims this week from the Ben Sherman Outlet in York.
Flicking through it, there doesn't seem to be anything particularly new and insiteful about "Youth Culture", but there are some nice pics and the book does feel like a quality product.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: MWC on March 13, 2013, 09:39:47 AM
I've just got round to starting 'Friday on my mind' not far enough into it yet to give an in depth analysis but I'm enjoying it so far!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ian_B on March 13, 2013, 10:13:58 AM
Read "Friday On My Mind" a few years ago on the coach to Lowestoft, & thoroughly enjoyed it!

Had the pleasure to meet Don Hughes at The Brighton August Weekender last year - lovely chap.

As for "Mod:A Very British Style", I did have it on pre-order from Amazon til I read Paul Hooper-Keeley's review on Modernist Society, which persuaded me to save myself as few bob.

Looking forward to Smiler's 'Mods - the New Religion!'

Currently reading (& thoroughly enjoying) "Boogie Man - The Adventures Of John Lee Hooker In The American Twentieth Century" by Charles Shaar Murray

Ian B
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on March 13, 2013, 12:33:00 PM
Slowly working through the New London Editions fiction. Barons Court All Change done and dusted, as is Adrift in Soho by Colin Wilson (which I'll review for site in next few days).

Now onto The Furnished Room (from 1961) by Laura Del-Rivo (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Furnished-Room-Beats-Bums-Bohemians/dp/190786914X/ref=pd_sim_b_1 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Furnished-Room-Beats-Bums-Bohemians/dp/190786914X/ref=pd_sim_b_1)), which seems to be cut from the same cloth. No bad thing at all.


What did you think of Barons Court? I was very disappointed myself, most of the book just seemed to go about how great smoking 'charge' is, which I thought was dull. I thought Adrift in Soho was good though. I wonder how much of it was based in fact? I've still got the Furnished Room to read but I thought I'd give the New London Editions a break and now I'm halfway through Dear Boy. I also ordered the Jason Brummell book the other day. Looking forward to that.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: BUtterfield8 on March 13, 2013, 12:34:42 PM
The Richard Burton Diaries. Funny, sad, gossipy, bitchy, literary, but above all honest and rather down to earth. Well written, but has some large chunks missing - mainly the years when his life was unravelling with depression and booze.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Jonny on March 13, 2013, 04:47:06 PM
Currently reading through 'A History Of The World In Six Glasses' by Tom Standage (Business editor of the Economist). Superb read so far, basically detailing world history through the beverages that influenced them. (It's more interesting than I've made it sound.)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: brobeck on March 14, 2013, 09:08:34 AM
I'm reading a couple - How Music Works by David Byrne & The History of MI6 (can't remember author too lazy too look it up oops). David Byrne's passion for music reaaally comes through and I'm only a few chapters in so far but it's just a really nice and happy book to read through.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: TheReralJoeM on March 14, 2013, 10:08:17 AM
Currently flicking through Tony Russells The Blues. a big coffee table thing with lots of pictures....scant information in the main chapters but some nice details on individual Bluesmen/women.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Modculture on March 14, 2013, 01:58:45 PM
Slowly working through the New London Editions fiction. Barons Court All Change done and dusted, as is Adrift in Soho by Colin Wilson (which I'll review for site in next few days).

Now onto The Furnished Room (from 1961) by Laura Del-Rivo (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Furnished-Room-Beats-Bums-Bohemians/dp/190786914X/ref=pd_sim_b_1 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Furnished-Room-Beats-Bums-Bohemians/dp/190786914X/ref=pd_sim_b_1)), which seems to be cut from the same cloth. No bad thing at all.

I actually thought the opposite. Quite liked Barons Court. Also liked Adrift in Soho too, but found it ended abruptly and too many characters seem to be cut short in their prime. Still worth buying though.


What did you think of Barons Court? I was very disappointed myself, most of the book just seemed to go about how great smoking 'charge' is, which I thought was dull. I thought Adrift in Soho was good though. I wonder how much of it was based in fact? I've still got the Furnished Room to read but I thought I'd give the New London Editions a break and now I'm halfway through Dear Boy. I also ordered the Jason Brummell book the other day. Looking forward to that.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on March 14, 2013, 05:02:04 PM
Slowly working through the New London Editions fiction. Barons Court All Change done and dusted, as is Adrift in Soho by Colin Wilson (which I'll review for site in next few days).

Now onto The Furnished Room (from 1961) by Laura Del-Rivo (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Furnished-Room-Beats-Bums-Bohemians/dp/190786914X/ref=pd_sim_b_1 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Furnished-Room-Beats-Bums-Bohemians/dp/190786914X/ref=pd_sim_b_1)), which seems to be cut from the same cloth. No bad thing at all.

I actually thought the opposite. Quite liked Barons Court. Also liked Adrift in Soho too, but found it ended abruptly and too many characters seem to be cut short in their prime. Still worth buying though.


What did you think of Barons Court? I was very disappointed myself, most of the book just seemed to go about how great smoking 'charge' is, which I thought was dull. I thought Adrift in Soho was good though. I wonder how much of it was based in fact? I've still got the Furnished Room to read but I thought I'd give the New London Editions a break and now I'm halfway through Dear Boy. I also ordered the Jason Brummell book the other day. Looking forward to that.

I enjoyed all three of those, especially The Furnished Room.  I managed to get a copy of the film (West 11) on which it was based and was really looking forward to watching it but it's disappointing; in it the supporting characters are one dimensional (Diana Dors is always a delight to watch, though).
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: newspapersmiles on March 15, 2013, 05:53:31 PM
I'm reading

And all the other books I'm supposed to read... I've a heck of a pile of books read. I've not even scratched the surface. I'm looking forward to read the Mod: A Very British Style, I understand it concentrates on the cultural perspective?

Too bad that acquiring these books is effing expensive (and time-taking) in Finland, this Richard Weight's book costs alone 30 euros when I could've gotten it for about 15 quid from amazon.co.uk...

Edit: I've also been reading Paolo Hewitt's band biographies of the Jam and Small Faces. I'd be dead pleased to have my own copy of both of them, but for now library's copies will do. Thick As Thieves - personal situations with the Jam is a book worth mentioning, too.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: russolo on March 17, 2013, 06:35:42 PM
Reading a lot of Charles Bukowski recently - I remember a few on the last forum were fans of him.
Its hard to adjust to reading anyone else now as his writing was so easy to read but still profound

I like this poem of his on 'style' - seems appropriate for a mod forum.

http://hellopoetry.com/poem/style/
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: rediffusion on March 19, 2013, 02:43:27 PM
Here's my collection of mod (and 60's culture books). Are there any glaring omissions? I used to have the Richard Barnes 'Mods!' book but have seemed to have lost it. By the way, the two blank, black spines are 'Something Beginning With O' by Kevin Pearce and 'A Thousand Things' by Paul Weller

(http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/271/modbooks2.jpg)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Modculture on March 19, 2013, 03:10:42 PM
Looking at those, you'd probably like this too...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Sixties-Art-Scene-London/dp/0714829102 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Sixties-Art-Scene-London/dp/0714829102)

(...sadly now out of print as a new book...)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: rediffusion on March 19, 2013, 03:13:14 PM
Looking at those, you'd probably like this too...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Sixties-Art-Scene-London/dp/0714829102 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Sixties-Art-Scene-London/dp/0714829102)

(...sadly now out of print as a new book...)

Good call. I actually went to that exhibition at the Barbican in the early 90's.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Smiler on March 20, 2013, 05:33:10 AM
From that photo , glaring omissions would have to be:
Friday On My Mind - Don Hughes
London Dossier - Len Deighton
Central 1179 - Keith Rylatt and Phil Scott
Days In The Life - Jonathan Green


Otherwise it is still an excellent collection of books.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Lurker on March 20, 2013, 01:44:57 PM
Not long finished Little Willie John's autobiogrophy apptly named Fever...

Fascinating man - tragic end to one so young and so talented.

Well worth a read if you haven't already.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Rickithly on March 20, 2013, 08:20:10 PM
I am currently reading my way through the Flashman novels. The first one is brilliant. Lighthearted and engaging. Just what I need for the early morning commute to work.

The last book I finished, however, was The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. I haven't enjoyed a book like that for a long time. Well worth a read if you have the time.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Jonny on March 20, 2013, 11:37:02 PM
Ploughed through a couple this week, firstly Simon Difford's guide to gin, a great read concerning processes, history and of course the origins of it all, worth a read if you're into that sort of thing. Secondly I read Pedalare! Pedalare! by John Foot, which is a history of Italian cycling and cycling culture, fairly self explanatory and again worth a read. Currently starting on 'A Wine Miscellany' by Graham Harding, a quirky 'Schotts Almanac' style book purely about wine trivia.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on March 23, 2013, 11:32:42 AM
I am currently reading my way through the Flashman novels. The first one is brilliant. Lighthearted and engaging. Just what I need for the early morning commute to work.

The last book I finished, however, was The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. I haven't enjoyed a book like that for a long time. Well worth a read if you have the time.
I absolutely love The Flashman Papers and I must have read them all at least twice; they are historically educational and witty with it.
At the moment I'm reading Flashman & The Seawolf which is by Robert Brightwell.  The Flashman in this is Harry's uncle Thomas and is set in 1800 but, alas, it isn't in the same class as George MacDonald Fraser.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Sharpen up on March 23, 2013, 01:59:29 PM
Not long finished Little Willie John's autobiogrophy apptly named Fever...

Fascinating man - tragic end to one so young and so talented.

Well worth a read if you haven't already.
[/quote

Really enjoyed this too, you might also enjoy rage to survive the etta James story. Got a great story about willie john in it .
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on March 28, 2013, 03:36:17 PM
Not so much what but where are you reading:

Some nice libraries in ahem, "cribs". www.femour.com/?p=14944
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bandito on March 30, 2013, 09:10:17 AM
Travelling with Che Guevara: The Making of a Revolutionary, by Alberto Granada.  Lovely companion to the film and in my view a better read than Che's own diary.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Dancress on March 30, 2013, 07:29:33 PM
The Alternative Hero by TIm THornton, about a bloke obsessed with a late 80's/early 90's indie band. Right up my street to remember all the bands I used to love. Ride, MBV, JAMC etc.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: roel on April 02, 2013, 08:33:31 PM
Thick As Thieves - personal situations with the Jam
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 03, 2013, 03:33:08 PM
Just got Etta James' Rage to Survive through the post, will start it this evening. 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Sharpen up on April 03, 2013, 05:57:30 PM
Just got Etta James' Rage to Survive through the post, will start it this evening.




You won't be disappointed its great.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bjoanmark on April 03, 2013, 06:20:29 PM
I am currently reading my way through the Flashman novels. The first one is brilliant. Lighthearted and engaging. Just what I need for the early morning commute to work.

The last book I finished, however, was The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. I haven't enjoyed a book like that for a long time. Well worth a read if you have the time.
I absolutely love The Flashman Papers and I must have read them all at least twice; they are historically educational and witty with it.
At the moment I'm reading Flashman & The Seawolf which is by Robert Brightwell.  The Flashman in this is Harry's uncle Thomas and is set in 1800 but, alas, it isn't in the same class as George MacDonald Fraser.

If you like George MacDonald Fraser you'll love 'The Complete McAuslan' just finished it its a great read and funny as is his other book on his Burma experience during the Second World War
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 03, 2013, 10:04:47 PM
I am currently reading my way through the Flashman novels. The first one is brilliant. Lighthearted and engaging. Just what I need for the early morning commute to work.

The last book I finished, however, was The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. I haven't enjoyed a book like that for a long time. Well worth a read if you have the time.
I absolutely love The Flashman Papers and I must have read them all at least twice; they are historically educational and witty with it.
At the moment I'm reading Flashman & The Seawolf which is by Robert Brightwell.  The Flashman in this is Harry's uncle Thomas and is set in 1800 but, alas, it isn't in the same class as George MacDonald Fraser.

If you like George MacDonald Fraser you'll love 'The Complete McAuslan' just finished it its a great read and funny as is his other book on his Burma experience during the Second World War

Yes, I've got that one and it is very funny; especially liked the stories of their regimental football team, McAuslan's court martial and the moonshiners up in Scotland. 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on April 03, 2013, 10:57:16 PM
Thought this wis an appropriate thread tae state how sad ah wis tae hear the news that Iain Banks' has terminal cancer.

"The Wasp Factory" is an absolute classic.

Hope he enjoys the time he has left tae him.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Woody 64 on April 04, 2013, 08:29:44 AM
Got to echo the Laird's comments above,

Other great Iain Banks books include Espedair St,which is music themed,The Bridge and Complicity.

Went to a couple of readings of his many,many years ago.

A very engaging and interesting guy!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Neil Lee on April 04, 2013, 08:39:34 AM
Thought this wis an appropriate thread tae state how sad ah wis tae hear the news that Iain Banks' has terminal cancer.

"The Wasp Factory" is an absolute classic.

Hope he enjoys the time he has left tae him.

Saw that sad news yesterday. He seems to be taking it very well.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: monday on April 05, 2013, 03:41:54 AM
 I was reading Barons Court.Just finished it & now waiting for MOD: A Very British Style by Richard Weight to be delivered to Oz by Book Depository.I have had this book on pre order since April 2012 so i hope it will be good but judging by some of the reviews i will wait and see.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on April 10, 2013, 06:39:45 PM
Readin' a kindle version ay the Albert Johannesen biography - the guy wha' played fur dirty Leeds in the 1960s.

Only at the bit whaur he's come over fae South Africa fur a trial tho'.

No long since finished the book aboot Alan Gilzean n'aw.


Find books aboot the auld time fitba players a lot mair enlightenin' than the mindless reminiscences ay the muppets playin' today.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Spectre on April 19, 2013, 01:01:06 PM
Just about to start . (The Kinks story of the Kinks, You Really Got Me ) by Nick Hasted. I picked it up from The Works, stores.  ;)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Jonny on April 19, 2013, 08:20:34 PM
Currently working through an audiobook of Jean Paul Sartre's Being And Nothingness. Absolutely melted my mind with all the terminology and theory and I'm only ten minutes in. Must hold a record for most uses of the word consciousness in any book ever.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: southlondongent on May 01, 2013, 12:49:01 PM
Finally getting round to finishing 'In the Lap of the Mods'.  Absolutely superb; not only in relation to the Action, but the 'scene' in general, details on clothes worn etc.  It was well worth the wait.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on May 01, 2013, 04:30:57 PM
I echo southlondongent's comment about In The Lap of the Mods. Some of the best writing about Mod I've had the pleasure of reading.

Last couple of things I've read:

We Are Glass by uv ray. New collection of short stories. I wouldn't say he is like Bukowski but has a similar albeit more modern mindset. Parts reminded me of early Irvine Welsh.

Cannary Row by John Steinbeck. Not the sort of thing I'd usually pick up but really liked it. A lovely warm tale.

Now starting The Supremes: A Saga of Motown Dreams, Success and Betrayal by Mark Ribowsky. Probably not a lovely warm tale.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bobby Charlton on May 01, 2013, 08:09:05 PM
Rip It Up and Start Again: Post Punk 1978-1984
by Simon Reynolds
The second time I've read it since I found it in a charity shop about two years ago.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: SuaveCollective on May 02, 2013, 03:39:51 PM
Just picked up a charity-shop copy of The Rum Diary by Hunter S Thompson, on a recommendation from Bespoke Gent...

I'm hoping for a sunny weekend in a deckchair to get through it...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Smiler on May 08, 2013, 04:56:52 PM
Just picked up a hardback copy of Rod Stewart's autobiography from last year. Twenty sovs usually but £1.95 in the Sue Ryder shop!  ;)

Looks like loads about his early days beatnick, Long John Baldry's Hoochie Coochie Men, Soul Agents, Steampacket, Shotgun Express, solo, Jeff Be k Group, Faces etc. at least first 9 chapters after flipping through it. A few unseen photos of these too bearing in mind they're from his collection.

When interviewing various people for my own book, Stewart's name popped up in practically every conversation. This man was everywhere....so will let you know when I've read it.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Martin G on May 14, 2013, 08:58:36 PM
Just finished THE BEATLE WHO VANISHED about Jimmie Nichol the guy who sat in for Ringo in 1964 at the start of The Beatles World tour in Europe, Hong Kong and Australia. A fascinating and revealing book that gives some great background to the London music scene of the early 1960s too along with some truly bizarre twist and turns to Jimmie's life. A great read.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Lisa on May 16, 2013, 01:35:33 PM
Just started flicking through The Ivy Look, there isn't actually that much in it to read, just some great clothes, pictures and old advertisements.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Jonny on May 20, 2013, 10:52:59 AM
Finished Miles Davis' autobiography after casually picking it up over the course of a few months. Read the whole thing in his voice.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bandito on May 20, 2013, 08:01:27 PM
Just started flicking throughout The Ivy Look, there isn't actually that much in it to read, just some great clothes, pictures and old advertisements.

Great little book that - I've spent a few hours idling away the time looking at it  :)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: intotomorrow on May 23, 2013, 03:54:11 PM
London the biography by Peter Ackroyd, he's good at presenting the town as a living organism but the book is too heavy for the daily commute so I've also got old music magazines (Mojo etc) that have been lying around in drawers for years.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: southlondongent on May 24, 2013, 12:27:30 PM
London the biography by Peter Ackroyd, he's good at presenting the town as a living organism but the book is too heavy for the daily commute so I've also got old music magazines (Mojo etc) that have been lying around in drawers for years.

If you're interested in London history then I can definitely recommend 'London in the Nineteenth Century' by Jerry White.  He's also written London in the Twentieth Century which I've yet got around to reading.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: intotomorrow on May 24, 2013, 03:20:58 PM
London the biography by Peter Ackroyd, he's good at presenting the town as a living organism but the book is too heavy for the daily commute so I've also got old music magazines (Mojo etc) that have been lying around in drawers for years.

If you're interested in London history then I can definitely recommend 'London in the Nineteenth Century' by Jerry White.  He's also written London in the Twentieth Century which I've yet got around to reading.

Thank you southlondon, I´ll look into that!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DavidWatts on May 28, 2013, 11:08:43 AM
The A to Z of Hellraisers (a comprehensive compendium of outrageous insobriety)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on May 31, 2013, 04:34:27 PM
Baron's Court All Changes, just finished reading it, not a masterpiece by any means but I must confess I've swallowed the damn thing in 3 days! Not a bad book & iIn some respects I prefer it to Absolute beginners as a portrait of the early modernist scene, though you've got to bear in mind that I read AB translated to spanish while this book I've read in english; you always lose something in translation.

Anyway, the 2 novels were written at the end of the 50's and they're are related too, the writer of BCAC being supposedly the model of the star of the Colin McIness book. Lots of modern jazz references and a plot about teenagers leaving home & selling pot. For a novel that no one rebembers it has stand the test of time remarkably well.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Smiler on June 04, 2013, 04:02:23 AM
Just picked up a hardback copy of Rod Stewart's autobiography from last year. Twenty sovs usually but £1.95 in the Sue Ryder shop!  ;)

Looks like loads about his early days beatnick, Long John Baldry's Hoochie Coochie Men, Soul Agents, Steampacket, Shotgun Express, solo, Jeff Be k Group, Faces etc. at least first 9 chapters after flipping through it. A few unseen photos of these too bearing in mind they're from his collection.

When interviewing various people for my own book, Stewart's name popped up in practically every conversation. This man was everywhere....so will let you know when I've read it.

Well just read the first seven chapters so far and finding this a great read. He's just about to join the Jeff Beck Group , so apart from his birth etc that's about six chapters on his early beat nick/ Mod days spent in Long John Baldry's Hoochie Coochie Men, Soul Agents, Steampacket, Shotgun Express and solo efforts. Really quite funny and well told stories. If he wrote this himself and never used a ghost writer which I think he has it's a really good job! He's very honest about him not having the greatest voice etc. Whatever you think of how Rod became , there's no doubting that he was 'on the scene' and there's a very good reason he replaced Steve Marriott in the Small Faces......be was definitely Steve's biggest competition at the time.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: SuaveCollective on June 04, 2013, 03:36:34 PM
Buttoned-up The East London Line by Dutch magazine house Fantastic Man (authors Jop Van Bennekom and Getr Jonkers)

Part of the Tube line Penguin books series which is in turn part of the 150 years of TFL.

A cracking little book (can be read in less than an hour) and as cheap as buttons:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Buttoned-Up-London-Penguin-Underground-Lines/dp/1846145686/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370359659&sr=8-1&keywords=buttoned+up

It is essentially a series of short editorial, both written and photographic, about the top button on your shirt being done up (and specifically done up but not wearing a tie). All the articles are well written and the photo's suitably arty. The last chapter is best IMO as it's predominately about Mods and Youth Culture with the contributer who wrote that section so much more atune with Mod in just half a dozen chapters than Richard Weight managed over 200 pages of his joyless tome!

Well worth buying and reading even if you never use the tube.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on June 04, 2013, 08:29:24 PM
Just picked up a hardback copy of Rod Stewart's autobiography from last year. Twenty sovs usually but £1.95 in the Sue Ryder shop!  ;)

Looks like loads about his early days beatnick, Long John Baldry's Hoochie Coochie Men, Soul Agents, Steampacket, Shotgun Express, solo, Jeff Be k Group, Faces etc. at least first 9 chapters after flipping through it. A few unseen photos of these too bearing in mind they're from his collection.

When interviewing various people for my own book, Stewart's name popped up in practically every conversation. This man was everywhere....so will let you know when I've read it.

Well just read the first seven chapters so far and finding this a great read. He's just about to join the Jeff Beck Group , so apart from his birth etc that's about six chapters on his early beat nick/ Mod days spent in Long John Baldry's Hoochie Coochie Men, Soul Agents, Steampacket, Shotgun Express and solo efforts. Really quite funny and well told stories. If he wrote this himself and never used a ghost writer which I think he has it's a really good job! He's very honest about him not having the greatest voice etc. Whatever you think of how Rod became , there's no doubting that he was 'on the scene' and there's a very good reason he replaced Steve Marriott in the Small Faces......be was definitely Steve's biggest competition at the time.

I've been reading this as well, Smiler, and he can tell a good tale, can't he?  Very warm, down to earth and engaging and I did chuckle that one chapter is about his barnet. 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Smiler on June 05, 2013, 03:12:28 PM
Yes Ady, would Defoe recommend the book, and Inoticed yesterday it is available in paperback for £7.99 now.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on June 13, 2013, 07:03:26 PM
Just finished the Richard Weight book and now started reding Move On Up by Nick Coventon. Nice bit of mod pulp fiction always goes down well  :)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Smiler on June 14, 2013, 11:37:39 AM
Just finished the Richard Weight book and now started reding Move On Up by Nick Coventon. Nice bit of mod pulp fiction always goes down well  :)


What did you think of Richard Weights' book?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on June 14, 2013, 01:23:30 PM
It wasn't bad, although a bit dry/academic in places for me. Like a lot of people I thought it was going to be tales of the Scene and the Flamingo but it wasn't. I think he made a few scoolboy errors with dates etc though. I think the difficult thing with trying to write a book like this is that nobody can pin down Mod, ie; what defines it, where and when it started etc, so how can you accurately say how it has influenced other cultural areas? To be fair, he made a valient effort. I don't think there was enough on the revival though. To me, regardless of the pros and cons of it, it is still an important factor on Mod today.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Smiler on June 14, 2013, 04:45:40 PM
It wasn't bad, although a bit dry/academic in places for me. Like a lot of people I thought it was going to be tales of the Scene and the Flamingo but it wasn't. I think he made a few scoolboy errors with dates etc though. I think the difficult thing with trying to write a book like this is that nobody can pin down Mod, ie; what defines it, where and when it started etc, so how can you accurately say how it has influenced other cultural areas? To be fair, he made a valient effort. I don't think there was enough on the revival though. To me, regardless of the pros and cons of it, it is still an important factor on Mod today.

Yeah he seemed to go back a bit on his thoughts on the revival when he appeared on the Mod with me. How can people be dismissive of the revival when he provided a major core of movers and shakers that shaped the culture through fanzines, bands and clubs through to this day?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on June 15, 2013, 08:13:24 AM
Currently reading Trad Dads, Dirty Boppers and Free Fusioneers: British Jazz, 1960-1975 by Duncan Heining. Excellent read incorporating class, education, politics, race, relationship with British rock/blues etc.

Re-read Absolute Beginners for the first time in hundreds of years and enjoyed it more than I did previously (not sure why - maybe I read it more as a history book this time rather than a story).

And also read Buttoned-Up mentioned by SuaveCollective. Good little book. 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ian_B on June 15, 2013, 10:22:32 AM

Re-read Absolute Beginners for the first time in hundreds of years and enjoyed it more than I did previously (not sure why - maybe I read it more as a history book this time rather than a story).


Funnily enough I've just a new copy of Absolute Beginners to re-read it myself

Just finished reading "Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century" by Charles Shaar Murray (highly recommended) and also thoroughly enjoyed reading "Your Face Here: British Cult Movies Since the Sixties" by Ali Catterall & Simon Wells so much so that I'm now working my way through watching all the films covered  Blow Up; Get Carter; Performance; A Clockwork Orange; Quadrophenia; Naked & Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, again (apart from Quad ;) )

Ian B
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on June 17, 2013, 12:42:36 PM
It wasn't bad, although a bit dry/academic in places for me. Like a lot of people I thought it was going to be tales of the Scene and the Flamingo but it wasn't. I think he made a few scoolboy errors with dates etc though. I think the difficult thing with trying to write a book like this is that nobody can pin down Mod, ie; what defines it, where and when it started etc, so how can you accurately say how it has influenced other cultural areas? To be fair, he made a valient effort. I don't think there was enough on the revival though. To me, regardless of the pros and cons of it, it is still an important factor on Mod today.

Yeah he seemed to go back a bit on his thoughts on the revival when he appeared on the Mod with me. How can people be dismissive of the revival when he provided a major core of movers and shakers that shaped the culture through fanzines, bands and clubs through to this day?

Couldn't agree more. He didn't seem to point that out at all in his book, yet spends ages going on about Bowie, then devotes a large section to Rave culture. Personally, I don't go along with this 'Bowie the Mod' idea. I think he would have jumped on any trend to try and get a foothold and Mod was one of them. I don't see any link betwen Mod and Rave either other than they both involved, to various degrees, all-nighters, dancing and drugs. You could say that about lots of cultures.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Mikeyg007 on June 17, 2013, 06:56:11 PM
Len Deighton's Action Cookbook.  It's a stone cold mod classic! You've seen the film, now Deighton shows you how to cook the best meal you have ever tasted in your life. It brilliantly evokes the sixties bachelor pad, when using olive oil and spaghetti was  the height of European sophistication.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Action-Cook-Book-Len-Deighton/dp/0007305877
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: hatters on June 17, 2013, 07:07:24 PM
Len Deighton's Action Cookbook.  It's a stone cold mod classic! You've seen the film, now Deighton shows you how to cook the best meal you have ever tasted in your life. It brilliantly evokes the sixties bachelor pad, when using olive oil and spaghetti was  the height of European sophistication.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Action-Cook-Book-Len-Deighton/dp/0007305877

Money well spent. A great read and genuinely full of useful advice.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ian_B on June 18, 2013, 02:49:57 PM
Len Deighton's Action Cookbook.  It's a stone cold mod classic! You've seen the film, now Deighton shows you how to cook the best meal you have ever tasted in your life. It brilliantly evokes the sixties bachelor pad, when using olive oil and spaghetti was  the height of European sophistication.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Action-Cook-Book-Len-Deighton/dp/0007305877

Money well spent. A great read and genuinely full of useful advice.

I agree totally .. another heartfelt endorsement from me - I would also recommend his "French Cooking for Men: 50 Classic Cookstrips for Today's Action Men"
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DavidWatts on June 19, 2013, 11:31:01 AM
3/4s of the way through "Bedsit Disco Queen" ..Tracey Thorn's auto biography , father's day present and an excellent read so far.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on June 20, 2013, 12:42:27 PM
If you like "pub culture", this piece is a nice two minute read:

http://smokealondonpeculiar.co.uk/
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bobby Charlton on June 28, 2013, 04:16:05 PM
Totally Wired: Postpunk Interviews and Overviews by Simon Reynolds at present.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on July 01, 2013, 09:19:26 AM
About halfway through Tony Fletcher's Boy About Town.

Interesting stuff about him as a thirteen/fourteen year old interviewing the likes of Paul Weller and Pete Townshend for his Jamming fanzine.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: roel on July 01, 2013, 07:40:29 PM
im reading a biography on chet baker.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bjoanmark on July 07, 2013, 12:47:40 PM
Nothing highbrow for me at the moment, started reading Game Of Thrones again now book 8 has come out!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bobby Charlton on July 07, 2013, 01:34:03 PM
About halfway through Tony Fletcher's Boy About Town.

Interesting stuff about him as a thirteen/fourteen year old interviewing the likes of Paul Weller and Pete Townshend for his Jamming fanzine.

Been meaning to purchase that in the future Monkey, it looks good.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: roel on July 09, 2013, 07:04:40 PM
About halfway through Tony Fletcher's Boy About Town.

Interesting stuff about him as a thirteen/fourteen year old interviewing the likes of Paul Weller and Pete Townshend for his Jamming fanzine.

i have received this book today.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on July 09, 2013, 07:31:08 PM
That's on my want list.
I'm just about to re-read The Glory Game by Hunter Davies. Great book.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bobby Charlton on July 09, 2013, 08:04:26 PM
That's on my want list.
I'm just about to re-read The Glory Game by Hunter Davies. Great book.

This may be of interest to you Stax if you're around your hometown around the 18th of July:
http://www.headinabook.co.uk/index.php/readings/
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Red Steve on July 09, 2013, 09:43:08 PM
Bodyline Autopsy by David Frith. A cracking review of the toughest Ashes Series in history.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on July 10, 2013, 06:35:50 PM
That's on my want list.
I'm just about to re-read The Glory Game by Hunter Davies. Great book.

This may be of interest to you Stax if you're around your hometown around the 18th of July:
http://www.headinabook.co.uk/index.php/readings/

Thanks for the tip. It took me a while to get over the shock of something coming to Hull.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bobby Charlton on July 10, 2013, 10:15:02 PM
That's on my want list.
I'm just about to re-read The Glory Game by Hunter Davies. Great book.

This may be of interest to you Stax if you're around your hometown around the 18th of July:
http://www.headinabook.co.uk/index.php/readings/

Thanks for the tip. It took me a while to get over the shock of something coming to Hull.

Quite a scoop that uh?
The wife ended up going to the Tracy Thorne one at Pave not so long back. She said it was pretty good.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: monday on July 11, 2013, 01:56:27 AM
 Reading for the second time Barons Court All Change by Terry Taylor just to see if I missed anything and will be reading Casuals by Phil Thornton just for a change of scene
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on July 12, 2013, 07:29:57 PM
The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler which is very good but I did guess as to why Mr Peters wanted Mr Latimer to go to Paris.  Also on the go at the moment a couple of history books by Giles Milton:  Paradise Lost which is about the city of Smyrna and it's destruction in 1922 and White Gold which concerns Europeans put into slavery in North Africa in the 17th century.  I didn't know that Barbary Coast corsairs actually landed ashore in South West England, Wales and Ireland and abducted people from the coastal villages and carted them off to North Africa.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: monday on July 14, 2013, 02:01:41 AM
Finished Barons Court and now about to start Time For Action The Mod Revival 1978-1981 by Gary Bushell.
Bought it from the publishers when it first came out.
They advertised it as a limited numbered edition but when it was delivered the number is a sticker you could by from any stationers stuck on the inside page.
A bit cheap really.
Hopefully the read is better. :-\
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on July 15, 2013, 04:57:39 PM
Finished Barons Court and now about to start Time For Action The Mod Revival 1978-1981 by Gary Bushell.
Bought it from the publishers when it first came out.
They advertised it as a limited numbered edition but when it was delivered the number is a sticker you could by from any stationers stuck on the inside page.
A bit cheap really.
Hopefully the read is better. :-\

I wouldn't get your hopes up.

Just started Dope Girls: The Birth of the Drug Underground by Marek Kohn. Interesting introduction which says drug laws were introduced to keep little white girls out of reach from undesirables.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: roel on July 16, 2013, 08:02:46 PM
im reading at this moment on the road and the photobook from ben sherman.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: monday on July 29, 2013, 01:53:43 AM
This week I have started
Sit Down! Listen To This!   The Roger Eagle Story by Bill Sykes.
So far so good although I have only read 28 pages.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on July 29, 2013, 09:37:15 AM
This week I have started
Sit Down! Listen To This!   The Roger Eagle Story by Bill Sykes.
So far so good although I have only read 28 pages.
I really liked this. I only knew of the "legend" of Roger Eagle beforehand, but this really communicated what a broad-minded music nut that he was. Sometimes it felt like some pages had dropped out and been stuck back in the wrong order 'though.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: monday on July 29, 2013, 10:30:56 AM
I agree with what I have read so far it does seem to jump from one story to another and back again.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: BrianB on July 31, 2013, 03:17:31 AM
Finally getting around to reading the new Lee Marvin book, Point Blank. Hooked within the first few pages...fantastic.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on July 31, 2013, 06:01:19 PM
On the off chance that there's somebody who doesn't have Absolute Beginners, The Works (the one in Hull at least) is selling it for £1.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: NorthStar on August 01, 2013, 01:37:59 PM
Just bought Red or Dead by David Peace.  A fictionalised account of Bill Shankly and his time at Anfield and following his retirement.

Been lookng forward to this for ages - if it's as good as David Peace's other books it will be a cracker!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: roel on August 22, 2013, 08:11:48 PM
princess noir - nadine cohodas
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on August 23, 2013, 07:29:39 PM
I've just finished the Furnished Room by Laura Del Rivo. At a bit of a loss now as to what to start reading next. Might go for City of Spades or Mr Love and Justice. Anybody read either? Any good?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on August 24, 2013, 06:33:13 AM
I've just finished the Furnished Room by Laura Del Rivo. At a bit of a loss now as to what to start reading next. Might go for City of Spades or Mr Love and Justice. Anybody read either? Any good?
Excellent book, that one, Stax. I've got the filmed adaptation West 11 on DVD but the book is far superior.  I've not read those two MacInnes novels but you may like The Lowlife by Alexander Baron.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on August 25, 2013, 02:47:50 PM
I've seen West 11 going on ebay. Is it worth getting? I can't say I've heards of the Lowlife, I'll have to look that one up.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on August 27, 2013, 03:35:13 PM
I've seen West 11 going on ebay. Is it worth getting? I can't say I've heards of the Lowlife, I'll have to look that one up.
If you want to PM me your address you can have my copy.  It's never had an official release so the copy I have was recorded from TV but the picture and sound quality are excellent.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on August 27, 2013, 07:12:20 PM
Thanks for that. I'll pm you. I think the ebay one must be a similar copy as it was only £2 or something.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: hipshaker on August 27, 2013, 09:16:08 PM
just read this .......... really enjoyed, some very familiar stuff about growing up on a council estate along with great stories about punk/nme and more:

(http://www.orionbooks.co.uk/assets/OrionPublishingGroup/img/book/939/isbn9780753828939-1x2a.jpg)


just started this ...... i attended a Q&A session with the author and ross lomas (GBH bassist). itsparked my interest so i bought the book:

(http://gbhuk.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/City-Baby-Ross-Lomas-195x300.jpg)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on September 05, 2013, 02:00:59 PM
Just finished "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry". Talk about not living up to the hype. Really disappointing.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Red Steve on September 05, 2013, 03:16:27 PM
This (again).

(http://i468.photobucket.com/albums/rr42/redsteve2008/Fear_and_Loathing_in_Las_Vegas_zps9d6ade23.jpg) (http://s468.photobucket.com/user/redsteve2008/media/Fear_and_Loathing_in_Las_Vegas_zps9d6ade23.jpg.html)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: ianeggbert on September 05, 2013, 04:02:00 PM
Just read "A La Mod" whilst on my hols which is Ian Moore's very funny account of being a mod stand up comedian and his new life after a move to rural France

Just started J D Salinger's "The Catcher In The Rye" which I've never got round to
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on September 06, 2013, 09:16:38 AM
Just read "A La Mod" whilst on my hols which is Ian Moore's very funny account of being a mod stand up comedian and his new life after a move to rural France


I haven't heard of that before - will have a look.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Mark1966 on September 06, 2013, 02:35:00 PM
I read A La Mod on holiday (in France) and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Mikeyg007 on September 07, 2013, 02:51:36 PM
This (again).

(http://i468.photobucket.com/albums/rr42/redsteve2008/Fear_and_Loathing_in_Las_Vegas_zps9d6ade23.jpg) (http://s468.photobucket.com/user/redsteve2008/media/Fear_and_Loathing_in_Las_Vegas_zps9d6ade23.jpg.html)

I teach English and I did a page of Fear and Loathing with my A level class last year: I forbade them under any circumstances to read any more and to keep it quiet that I'd introduced them to it. I had a few kids sidling up to me at the end asking for more details; so I reluctantly gave them the information while again reinforcing that it would be highly irresponsible to read any more. Possibly the first time that a few of them will have ventured into the library voluntarily  :)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: ianeggbert on September 07, 2013, 06:03:46 PM
This (again).

(http://i468.photobucket.com/albums/rr42/redsteve2008/Fear_and_Loathing_in_Las_Vegas_zps9d6ade23.jpg) (http://s468.photobucket.com/user/redsteve2008/media/Fear_and_Loathing_in_Las_Vegas_zps9d6ade23.jpg.html)

I teach English and I did a page of Fear and Loathing with my A level class last year: I forbade them under any circumstances to read any more and to keep it quiet that I'd introduced them to it. I had a few kids sidling up to me at the end asking for more details; so I reluctantly gave them the information while again reinforcing that it would be highly irresponsible to read any more. Possibly the first time that a few of them will have ventured into the library voluntarily  :)

Excellent Mikey! I'm sure they thoroughly enjoyed it. My son has just started secondary school, loves reading and has declared his ambition to be an author, actor or musician (he's surrounded by books, music, clothes and films at home so why not!), but I think he needs to wait a few years before I introduce this one to him...................J.G Ballard maybe though
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: monday on September 10, 2013, 12:26:18 AM
The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.
Good book so far.
I have never seen the film so have no idea how it ends.
Started it because of the new Plein Soleil Special Edition being released on DVD.
Will finish the book and then watch the DVD to compare as most films only follow the book in a loose sense.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Becky_Moffitt_83 on September 23, 2013, 08:13:43 AM
Anyone remember Grace Coddington - famous for modelling her Vidal Sassoon 5 point geometric cut? She has recently issued her memoirs and is well worth a read for anyone who is a fan of 1960s British [super]models besides Twiggy and the Shrimp. Purchased it several months back in a local department store.

(http://media3.onsugar.com/files/2012/11/48/1/498/4981322/e2879f6e22a7f217_thumb.xxlarge/i/Grace-Coddington-Her-Autobiography-Grace-Memoir.jpg)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on September 23, 2013, 01:13:52 PM
The Lowlife by Alexander Baron. Really enjoying it so far.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on September 23, 2013, 02:57:58 PM
The Lowlife by Alexander Baron. Really enjoying it so far.

A belter! :D
Doesn't "King Billy" make an appearance in this? I might be mixing it up with "Wide Boys Don't Work".
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on September 23, 2013, 03:11:29 PM
The Lowlife by Alexander Baron. Really enjoying it so far.

A belter! :D
Doesn't "King Billy" make an appearance in this? I might be mixing it up with "Wide Boys Don't Work".
Stax - pleased you're enjoying that one; it is very good.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on September 23, 2013, 06:59:21 PM
The Lowlife by Alexander Baron. Really enjoying it so far.

A belter! :D
Doesn't "King Billy" make an appearance in this? I might be mixing it up with "Wide Boys Don't Work".
Stax - pleased you're enjoying that one; it is very good.

It took me a while to get over the ending of The Lowlife...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on September 24, 2013, 12:06:08 PM
I know what you mean, Mark. The characters in that book are by no means the most "bruteish" in "lowlife writing" but there's a real simmering nastiness . Which is nice.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on September 25, 2013, 05:35:47 AM
Finished The Lowlife last night. Highly recommend it.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Jonny on October 02, 2013, 06:16:14 PM
Just started a psychology degree so getting stuck into the text books! On the side I'm currently reading 'Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping' by Paco Underhill. Interesting insight into the psychology of consumers and how shops are designed around them.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Red Steve on October 02, 2013, 06:44:49 PM
Perhaps you could share some tips.....might stop me spending so much on clothes I don't really need but still think I have to have them  ;)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on October 02, 2013, 07:21:23 PM
Struggling to find time to read much at the mo but what I've read of the Northern Soul: An Illustrated History book has been pretty good.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: ianeggbert on October 02, 2013, 07:27:21 PM
Currently on Stuart Maconie's "Cider With Roadies".

Read all his others and left the first one until last! I just really enjoy his writing style and this one brings back memories of certain parts my own childhood
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Jonny on October 02, 2013, 07:53:05 PM
Perhaps you could share some tips.....might stop me spending so much on clothes I don't really need but still think I have to have them  ;)

Cut up the debit card, unplug the internet router. Lock yourself in a dark cellar and go cold turkey. I'm considering it!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on October 03, 2013, 06:34:20 PM
Just finished Hangover Square - Patrick Hamilton, a truly stupendous book.  Nearing the end, the night in Brighton when he bumps into Johnnie, I thought it may turn out alright for George.  Alas, I should have known better...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: SuaveCollective on October 09, 2013, 09:06:05 PM
Proof reading my new book - a semi follow up to my first book All About My Girl. It's set three years after AAMG (1966) and features some of the characters from the first book. Barring any last minute changes it will almost certainly be called ALL OR NOTHING and is written (hopefully) in the style of the classic caper movies like The Italian Job and Gambit etc.

I'll do a proper listing and heads up on the site when I've printed it. It's longer than my first book but will probably still retail for less than a fiver via E-bay although I may see if I can get my head around this E-book malarkey...

I'm down to my last 50 copies of All About My Girl if anyone is still keen... £3.99 on E-bay or PM me.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on October 10, 2013, 12:21:33 PM
That's great news, I really enjoyed AAMG.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on October 10, 2013, 03:43:51 PM
Yeah, good news - I really enjoyed All about my girl, too.
One "scene" in the book has stayed with me - the part where he is dancing to "See Line Woman". I think everyone can probably remember a certain song being played in a certain club when the atmosphere seems to change  - suddenly gets intense as people really get into it (last time for me was a few years ago , when "O' Baby" by Billy Hawks was being played at Ham Yard).

Anyway, not blowing smoke mr suave, just saying it resonated.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: SuaveCollective on October 11, 2013, 11:10:54 AM
Thanks gents for your kind comments... The whole book AAMG came about by expanding on trying to articulate just that 'moment of knowing'...

My favourite review said something along the lines of 'there have been many books written about the look of Mod, this is a book about the feel of Mod' and that was really pleasing!

Thanks once again.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Red Steve on October 12, 2013, 09:50:21 AM
Just like to say a big "thank you" to Jason who kindly send me a copy of his book free of charge, which arrived this morning. I'm looking forward to reading it this evening accompanied with a nice glass of single malt.

(http://i468.photobucket.com/albums/rr42/redsteve2008/Picture3739_zpse6b77259.jpg) (http://s468.photobucket.com/user/redsteve2008/media/Picture3739_zpse6b77259.jpg.html)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Jonny on October 12, 2013, 01:55:56 PM
Just like to say a big "thank you" to Jason who kindly send me a copy of his book free of charge, which arrived this morning. I'm looking forward to reading it this evening accompanied with a nice glass of single malt.


Just ploughed through it myself in one sitting and absolutely loved it, good job Jason!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: ianeggbert on October 13, 2013, 05:48:34 PM
Just finished Historian, Andrew Cook's "1963- That Was The Year That Was" which my wife bought me for my birthday.

A monthly account of some of the momentous events that took place in a truly memorable year! Well written and very readable
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: norm on October 14, 2013, 09:17:13 AM
Following the favourable reviews, I've just ordered a couple of copies of All About My Girl from ebay.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on October 14, 2013, 04:33:39 PM
This week: Catch 22 - Joseph Heller.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Red Steve on October 14, 2013, 07:11:49 PM
This week: Catch 22 - Joseph Heller.

Great novel.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: norm on October 15, 2013, 09:26:00 AM
Following the favourable reviews, I've just ordered a couple of copies of All About My Girl from ebay.
Arrived this morning - cheers for the superfast delivery Jason. That's my afternoon sorted ;)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: SuaveCollective on October 15, 2013, 12:28:46 PM
Firstly can I say many thanks for the collective interest from the forum in All About My Girl. Likewise the many favourable comments are very kind. I don't profess to be a professional writer and it's more a labour of love as I have mentioned to a few of you but your support is highly encouraging.

MC has exacting standards, which is great (as it should be!) However, I have a lot of time for anyone who pushes themselves out to do something - be that DJ-ing, Organising an event, Hosting/Administrating Mod-Culture web-site itself, playing music and so on. Even those who put themselves above the parapit and post up great pictures on the 'what are you wearing thread',  I think it's brave and yet also reflective of the support afforded to the brothers and sisters on the site - long may it continue.

Hat's off all round!

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: SuaveCollective on October 15, 2013, 12:47:39 PM
Through my work I got chatting to a fellow who had also written a book, so he kindly agreed to swapping one of his for one of mine....

His book is The Theatre of Silence by Matthew Bazell and is a fantastic read for anyone old enough to remember terraced football and who agrees that the modern game is blighted by any number of things - not least the obscene amounts of money involved. It's a witty and engaging read and I felt compelled to read the whole thing over just a few days. It has a foreward by Rod Liddle and a chapter by John Lydon (who's autoboigraphy; No Blacks, No Dog's No Irish is also a great read).

I've written a review for Amazon (as follows) as a favour to Matt but it is genuinely a great book although to be fair he is preaching to the coverted somewhat with me.

Do you despair at what has happened to your football team?
 
Do you think that anybody is worth £100,000 a week… a week?!?!
 
Do you think that footballing success is now measured more by profit rather than silverware (where else do you celebrate coming fourth… not even on primary school sports day my friend)
 
The Theatre of Silence will have you agreeing whole-heartedly with the impassioned plea from the author that the heart and soul has been bled dry by those who stand to view what was once the beating heart of the community, a brand and a business… you are no longer supporters, you are consumers!
 
It’s one thing to be asked to sit down by a steward, when you’re asked by fellow supporters that’s quite another… The only place you can watch football standing up now is in a pub or in the lower leagues… not that they are that much lower these days. League Two? It used to be Div 4 in old money… how’s that for progress?
 
I must confess to repeatedly interrupting my wife’s enjoyment of the evenings t.v. with many a ‘listen to this bit… it’s just so bl**dy true!’ I laughed out loud many times, not least regarding the ‘native greed’ of Jamie Brown the Spina Bifida sufferer and probably ruined another highly emotively charged bit during DIY SOS and yet I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
 
These days I rarely do the Prem unless I get a freebie or corporate jolly but now I’ve read this book I will turn down the next offer of a corporate freebie and state this book as the reason…
 
… It’s easy to shrug your shoulders and say ‘but what can I do about it?’ but as is so often in life (not just football) that’s exactly what they are (quite literally) banking on!
 
I am happy to watch lower league stuff, yes it may lack in foreign flair or guile occasionally but it’s worth it for that great hands-in-pockets roll of your body when you lean back and then shout out forward whatever song is doing the rounds… you simply can’t do that sitting down… I also love a witty terrace song (and a rude one or two to be fair) but times like at Aldershot when they played Morecombe a couple of years back in the pouring rain on a miserable Tuesday night when from somewhere on the terrace comes a chorus of ‘Bring Me Sunshine’… That my friend is true genius!
 
Buy this book but be warned you may just well upset your other-halves by laughing out loud during a particularly traumatic part during Downtown Abbey!


Link for those interested and I'll probably add a note on the Football thread on MC as well:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Theatre-Silence-Lost-Soul-Football/dp/190349057X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381840919&sr=1-1&keywords=theatre+of+silence

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on October 16, 2013, 12:54:24 PM
Currently re-reading Walk The Lines by Mark Mason. Very good book if you're into all things London.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Red Steve on October 24, 2013, 01:19:22 PM
Just finished reading Jason's book:

(http://i468.photobucket.com/albums/rr42/redsteve2008/Picture3739_zpse6b77259.jpg) (http://s468.photobucket.com/user/redsteve2008/media/Picture3739_zpse6b77259.jpg.html)

A great little read.The characters were well developed and each scene set really well. Not being born when the story was set, it was easy to get a feel for the settings and the "atmosphere" of the day. If you've not read it, I suggest you grab a copy now. Looking forward to his next one which I understand is being proof read at the moment, and is called "All or Nothing".
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: SuaveCollective on November 05, 2013, 01:31:34 PM
Just finished reading A la Mod by Mod comedian (as opposed to Comedy-Mod) Ian Moore.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mod-So-Called-Tranquil-Family-France/dp/1849533997/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383657214&sr=1-1&keywords=a+la+mod

It is a very enjoyable and easy read for anyone who, like me, yearns for an idyllic life in France. It is a gentle knowing book full of easy humour rather than a series of gags and as such makes for a better book in my opinion.

I've not seen his stand-up show but he paints a good picture of every-day frustrations from work, family and life in general. I laughed out loud several times (and even snorted tea out of my nose at one point) and I think most of us on the forum can relate to the 'style over substance' of mowing the lawn in bowling shoes and the steadfast refusal to own wellington boots lest we be in danger of actually doing something that necessitated them!

He is a witty writer (as you'd hope from a comedian) and it probably helped that my in-laws lived in France for 10 years as I know that they suffered much the same ignominies that Ian did... although not his hilarious recounting of his attempt in getting a vasectomy... something the French looked upon in abject horror... much like his collection of cravats...

Worth adding to the Christmas List for sure...

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Red Steve on November 05, 2013, 02:25:37 PM
^^^ just added that to my Christmas list. Thanks. The few pages that you can see on Amazon certainly make for a good read:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mod-So-Called-Tranquil-Family-France/dp/1849533997/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383657214&sr=1-1&keywords=a+la+mod#reader_1849533997
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: ianeggbert on November 05, 2013, 08:00:01 PM
It's a great book - read it on holiday in Italy earlier in the year and can highly recommend it.

Ian Moore was on Radio 5 "Fighting Talk" on saturday morning and is very dry and very funny. I must catch him live if he plays locally as I suspect it would be good entertainment
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Jonny on November 06, 2013, 06:58:06 PM
Just finished reading A la Mod by Mod comedian (as opposed to Comedy-Mod) Ian Moore.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mod-So-Called-Tranquil-Family-France/dp/1849533997/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383657214&sr=1-1&keywords=a+la+mod

It is a very enjoyable and easy read for anyone who, like me, yearns for an idyllic life in France. It is a gentle knowing book full of easy humour rather than a series of gags and as such makes for a better book in my opinion.

I've not seen his stand-up show but he paints a good picture of every-day frustrations from work, family and life in general. I laughed out loud several times (and even snorted tea out of my nose at one point) and I think most of us on the forum can relate to the 'style over substance' of mowing the lawn in bowling shoes and the steadfast refusal to own wellington boots lest we be in danger of actually doing something that necessitated them!

He is a witty writer (as you'd hope from a comedian) and it probably helped that my in-laws lived in France for 10 years as I know that they suffered much the same ignominies that Ian did... although not his hilarious recounting of his attempt in getting a vasectomy... something the French looked upon in abject horror... much like his collection of cravats...

Worth adding to the Christmas List for sure...

Some great little anecdotes in that book, hope he writes another soon!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on November 13, 2013, 05:15:23 PM
It's in my 'to read' pile.  Will get round to it soon, still reading Catch 22 which I must knuckle down to and finish.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: ianeggbert on November 22, 2013, 01:38:07 PM
Just taken delivery of Tom Wolfe's - The Pump House Gang.

Anyone else read this?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bjoanmark on November 25, 2013, 05:06:19 PM
Not quite reading it yet, but feeling very pleased with myself as I've finally tracked down The In Crowd by Mark Ritson in hardback at a very reasonable 29 smackers. Been after this for donkeys now and it just so happens to be Christmas soon ;D
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on November 29, 2013, 04:47:32 PM
Started reading the Ian Moore book but got a bit bored of it, to be honest.  Resumed reading Patrick Hamilton's Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky which I'm enjoying hugely.  Love the man's work.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bobby Charlton on November 29, 2013, 11:32:52 PM
Pete Townshend's bio 'Who I Am'.
Bought as a BDay present a few months ago.
Man! He/was minted.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on December 02, 2013, 10:11:42 PM
Started reading the Ian Moore book but got a bit bored of it, to be honest.  Resumed reading Patrick Hamilton's Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky which I'm enjoying hugely.  Love the man's work.

Finally got round to buying that one a few weeks ago. I'll be starting that one next.
Did anybody see the tv version?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on December 04, 2013, 04:21:39 PM
Started reading the Ian Moore book but got a bit bored of it, to be honest.  Resumed reading Patrick Hamilton's Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky which I'm enjoying hugely.  Love the man's work.

Finally got round to buying that one a few weeks ago. I'll be starting that one next.
Did anybody see the tv version?

I've didn't know there had been a TV adaptation until your post.  I've just had a squint on Amazon and it has been released on DVD.  I'll probably buy a copy when I have read the book; can't go wrong at that price.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Twenty-Thousand-Streets-Under-Sky/dp/B000B6F8FA/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1386174022&sr=1-1&keywords=Patrick+Hamilton%27s+Twenty+Thousand+Streets+Under+The+Sky (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Twenty-Thousand-Streets-Under-Sky/dp/B000B6F8FA/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1386174022&sr=1-1&keywords=Patrick+Hamilton%27s+Twenty+Thousand+Streets+Under+The+Sky)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: BrianB on December 05, 2013, 05:33:07 PM
Had to clean out my attic recently for some home repairs and came across my old James Bond paperbacks....reading Dr. No at the moment.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Diabolik on December 05, 2013, 06:00:01 PM
Just finished Alan McGee's Autobiography - Creation Stories: Riots, Raves & Running A Label.
 
Some great stories about his Rock n Roll life with The Jesus & Mary Chain, Primal Scream & Oasis. He is a bit full of himself though.

Great read though.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Martin G on December 14, 2013, 04:56:54 PM
As a big Beatles fan as well as comic collector I was looking forward to the new graphic novel THE FIFTH BEATLE The Brian Epstein Story. Just got it and the hardback edition is beautifully presented. stunning artwork and from what I have seen whilst flicking through a pretty accurate, albeit slightly fanciful, interpretation of Brian's story with The Fabs. Already interest in the book has raised the profile again of a movie about Epstein which has been knocking around for some years and this book could indeed serve as a storyboard of sorts for the project. Whatever happens this is a well put together and visually stunning tale that any fan will I am sure enjoy reading.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on December 21, 2013, 07:44:47 PM
Finishing Verve: the sound of America, a delightful coffee-table book about the jazz label and his founder, Norman Granz. Besides the story of the label, the book includes short profiles of the jazz stars that recorded for Verve, the usual suspects: Ella, Jimmy Smith, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, W. Montgomery...

But to me the appeal of the book lays specially in the images: dozens of Verve albums' covers and some outstanding pictures of their artists (there's for instance a B&W '58 caption of JSmith from below that defines once and for all what's COOL) and of the US jazz hangouts of the central decades of the 20th century. On the down side, there are factual mistakes on the dates of some pics (call me pricky, I can't stand the lack of accuracy) but it's a relief that the book doesn't waste many pages on the last  years of what is now, sadly, just part of a faceless group of enterprises.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on January 12, 2014, 12:20:27 PM
'What it was' by George Pelecanos, one of my favourite crime writers. For the uninitiated, his books are, generally, set in and around Washington DC and range from mid-60s to contemporary times. Lots of cultural references, and Pelecanos is obviously a big music head. Music, mostly soul and funk from late 60s to early 70s, features quite heavily in a lot of his books, and his characters all dig the groove! He was one of the writers of The Wire, so his pedigree is sound.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 12, 2014, 04:52:05 PM
Sounds interesting, Gonzo, I'll try one of his books for my kindle, but in spanish this time, lately I read too many books in english and I feel I'm losing too much with the simultaneous translation  :-\
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on January 12, 2014, 08:40:49 PM
I was reading Running With The Firm by James Bannon over Christmas, which is the true story of the film ID. I had no idea it had been based on real events. Really good book.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on January 12, 2014, 09:00:28 PM
Sounds interesting, Gonzo, I'll try one of his books for my kindle, but in spanish this time, lately I read too many books in english and I feel I'm losing too much with the simultaneous translation  :-\

Good man! I'd personally go with his first 'A Firing Offence'. You'll lose nothing by just dipping in at random, but there's a fair bit of character cross-over; if you dig him, you'll want the back story on those recurring characters.

Interested to hear what you think; like I said, he's one of my faves, up there with James Lee Burke and Elmore Leonard
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 13, 2014, 11:21:13 AM
I only could get The turnaround (aka Sin retorno in spanish), though there's more Pelecano books in paper editions. I'll report on the novel when I finish reading it, tho the story sounds exciting.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on January 13, 2014, 03:39:54 PM
That's a good one, mate, reckon you'll enjoy it. By the way, I'm impressed (and not a little jealous!) that you can choose to read books in either English or Spanish. Muy fresco, amigo!!  ;)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 21, 2014, 04:19:21 PM
This week I'm reading Julian Maclaren-Ross's Of Love And Hunger which is fantastic.  To quote the blurb on the cover, "Vivid, louche and slangy, it conjures up a world of smoky pubs, prying landladies, unpaid debts and seedy love-nests with brilliant wit and acuity".
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on January 21, 2014, 04:24:10 PM
Excellent stuff - Ady - you're really getting through the "lowlife" cannon!
I thought this really caught the drudgery of an unsatisfying job (and the "seaside").
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 21, 2014, 09:05:28 PM
Excellent stuff - Ady - you're really getting through the "lowlife" cannon!
I thought this really caught the drudgery of an unsatisfying job (and the "seaside").

Just finished it now.   Excellent novel and I truly could not put it down.  What really captivated me was his short clipped sentences.  No waffle.  Straight to the point.  Job done.   Considering it was published in 1947 I found it quite upfront and not as straight-laced as I expected a novel from this era to be (his recollection of 'catching a dose' out east and some of Fanshawe's observations of women).  I had images of Alfie in my mind's eye at times. 

Have you any more recommendations of this "lowlife canon", Bill?  I checked my Amazon wish list and Sam Selvon's Lonely Londoners is in there.  Have you read that one? 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on January 21, 2014, 09:55:44 PM
I know what you mean - Maclaren-Ross didn't hold back for fear of offence. I've a good heavy collection of his memoirs and short stories and the introduction describes him as quite a peacock with a few affectations that -had it been the 60's - would probably have made him a notorious dandy.

Yep, I love Lonely Londoners - since reading that I can't read Maciness' Absolute Beginners or City of Spades. Selvon is the real deal.

From memory, trying to avoid the ones you've read Ady, I'd recommend:

"Wide boys never work" - R Westerby
The Gorse Trilogy - Patrick Hamilton
The Angel & the Cuckoo - G Kersh
Angel Pavement  - JB Priestley


..and my favourite- that you have to read if you haven't already - Fowler's End by Gerald Kersh.

TBH - I'm maybe going beyond "lowlife" but these are all in a similar vein.



Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 21, 2014, 10:13:41 PM
I know what you mean - Maclaren-Ross didn't hold back for fear of offence. I've a good heavy collection of his memoirs and short stories and the introduction describes him as quite a peacock with a few affectations that -had it been the 60's - would probably have made him a notorious dandy.

Yep, I love Lonely Londoners - since reading that I can't read Maciness' Absolute Beginners or City of Spades. Selvon is the real deal.

From memory, trying to avoid the ones you've read Ady, I'd recommend:

"Wide boys never work" - R Westerby
The Gorse Trilogy - Patrick Hamilton
The Angel & the Cuckoo - G Kersh
Angel Pavement  - JB Priestley


..and my favourite- that you have to read if you haven't already - Fowler's End by Gerald Kersh.

TBH - I'm maybe going beyond "lowlife" but these are all in a similar vein.

That's brill, thanks for the list.  I will investigate these.  I like the ideas discussed in Absolute Beginners but I always found the hip daddio slang hadn't dated well.  I don't know if it's just me but some of dialogue seemed to border on caricature.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on January 23, 2014, 07:16:22 PM
Just bought Nightshift by Pete McKenna so will be getting stuck into that later.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on January 23, 2014, 08:57:49 PM
Just bought Nightshift by Pete McKenna so will be getting stuck into that later.

Always meant to read that, Stax. Was it that Nightshift that was recently re-issued with another soul book (2 in 1)?



My Wife's a PG Wodehouse nut and we're off to see a Jeeves and Wooster play in a few weeks, so I'm just about to start The Jeeves Omnibus.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on January 24, 2014, 11:13:24 PM
Yes, the other book is called All Souled Out. I got my copy the other day in HMV for £5.99 which is quite a bit cheaper than the publishers website.

I'm off down to London in a couple of weeks and was really wanting to go see the Jeeves and Wooster play, but when I went to book the tickets just after Christmas all that was left were comically expensive ones or restricated views. I'm gutted! It's getting great reviews.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 26, 2014, 11:00:53 AM
The Gilt Kid by James Curtis, another in the 'lowlife' canon.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on January 26, 2014, 12:38:11 PM
^ Great shout Ady.

Stax, the tickets cost way more than I'd planned to spend (I'd heard it was finishing in March  - so I felt pressured - but it's now extended to September ::)). One of them is a restricted view as well. However, I'm going to do the gentlemanly thing - and tell the missus what's going on on stage.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on January 26, 2014, 05:27:37 PM
Bit late to the party, but I've just finished 'All About My Girl' by our very own Jason Brummell (Suave Collective). Loved it! He says in the intro that 'the details make the Mod', and he's true to that mantra, from the trick cuffs on our main narrator's suit to that rather unflattering side effect of speed!!  ;) Great mix of fictional characters and actual players from the time, and peppered with great music references (including a pop at the Beatles for being a covers band!). In style, it reminded me of Jake Arnott's Harry Starks books, and that's no bad thing, in my opinion. If you haven't, read it, you won't be disappointed!  8)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bobby Charlton on January 26, 2014, 10:59:10 PM
Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to its Own Past by Simon Reynolds.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Retromania-Pop-Cultures-Addiction-Past/dp/0571232094
Just finished reading the chapter about collecting vinyl... had to laugh out loud at some of his typical vinyl collector observations.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on January 27, 2014, 10:04:14 PM
^ Great shout Ady.

Stax, the tickets cost way more than I'd planned to spend (I'd heard it was finishing in March  - so I felt pressured - but it's now extended to September ::)). One of them is a restricted view as well. However, I'm going to do the gentlemanly thing - and tell the missus what's going on on stage.

Very noble of you  ;D

My initial disappointment at missing J&W tickets was forgotten when I discovered Mojo was extending its run...until I then found out it finished the week before I go.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on January 29, 2014, 02:24:38 PM
^ Great shout Ady.

Stax, the tickets cost way more than I'd planned to spend (I'd heard it was finishing in March  - so I felt pressured - but it's now extended to September ::)). One of them is a restricted view as well. However, I'm going to do the gentlemanly thing - and tell the missus what's going on on stage.

Very noble of you  ;D

My initial disappointment at missing J&W tickets was forgotten when I discovered Mojo was extending its run...until I then found out it finished the week before I go.

Ah, I'd not heard of "mojo" - looks like it could be based on a number of books (Bad Penny Blues, Golden Trumpet, London Blues etc). Will keep an eye out.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 29, 2014, 05:18:49 PM
Finished The Gilt Kid and really enjoyed it:  very vivid depiction of 'lowlife' and again I was surprised at how earthy it was for a book published in 1936.  I'm thinking of the scene where he wakes up in a strange bed and the prostitute is going through his money (the dialogue between them is superb) and then he goes to the chemist for a concoction just to be sure in case he's caught something.  Great twist at the end as well.

Next up will be A Start In Life by Alan Silitoe which should arrive any day now so just flicking through the new Mojo and also Push issue 9 today.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on January 29, 2014, 09:07:19 PM
Finished The Gilt Kid and really enjoyed it:  very vivid depiction of 'lowlife' and again I was surprised at how earthy it was for a book published in 1936.  I'm thinking of the scene where he wakes up in a strange bed and the prostitute is going through his money (the dialogue between them is superb) and then he goes to the chemist for a concoction just to be sure in case he's caught something.  Great twist at the end as well.

Next up will be A Start In Life by Alan Silitoe which should arrive any day now so just flicking through the new Mojo and also Push issue 9 today.

Sounds like you're doing the collection published by  "London Books" Ady? I really liked them all (haven't got to Doctor of the Lost yet).
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 30, 2014, 04:49:29 PM
Finished The Gilt Kid and really enjoyed it:  very vivid depiction of 'lowlife' and again I was surprised at how earthy it was for a book published in 1936.  I'm thinking of the scene where he wakes up in a strange bed and the prostitute is going through his money (the dialogue between them is superb) and then he goes to the chemist for a concoction just to be sure in case he's caught something.  Great twist at the end as well.

Next up will be A Start In Life by Alan Silitoe which should arrive any day now so just flicking through the new Mojo and also Push issue 9 today.

Sounds like you're doing the collection published by  "London Books" Ady? I really liked them all (haven't got to Doctor of the Lost yet).
Yes, that right Bill! Picking them up cheap on Amazon.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on February 03, 2014, 06:21:47 PM
Reading A Start In Life by Alan Sillitoe, a modern Picaresque novel charting one man's flight and crash-landing in the underworld of the Swinging Sixties, and brilliant stuff it is too.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on February 14, 2014, 06:28:47 PM
Finishing George Pelecano's The Turnaround. First of all, a big thank you to Gonzo for pointing me out to Pelecano. While he isn't, say, Marcel Proust by any means and the translation (to spanish, in my case) doesn't do any favours to the book, the story's got power to spare, the characters (as beffiting a scriptwriter) come alive and three-dimensional, the style is unpretentious and clear and the pace fast and steady. An engaging, even moving, little thriller. It won't be the last Pelecano's novel I read, for sure. Maybe in english next time.

Dippin' into Swinging 60s in pictures, a small photobook fully loaded with fine captions of (mainly) fashion and music images of our favourite decade. At less than 8 pounds you can't fail. Highly recommended. 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on February 14, 2014, 07:54:49 PM
Finishing George Pelecano's The Turnaround. First of all, a big thank you to Gonzo for pointing me out to Pelecano. While he isn't, say, Marcel Proust by any means and the translation (to spanish, in my case) doesn't do any favours to the book, the story's got power to spare, the characters (as beffiting a scriptwriter) come alive and three-dimensional, the style is unpretentious and clear and the pace fast and steady. An engaging, even moving, little thriller. It won't be the last Pelecano's novel I read, for sure. Maybe in english next time.

Dippin' into Swinging 60s in pictures, a small photobook fully loaded with fine captions of (mainly) fashion and music images of our favourite decade. At less than 8 pounds you can't fail. Highly recommended.

Glad you enjoyed Pelecanos, mate! He was recommended to me, and I haven't looked back. Quite a body of work to dip into and none of his books rate less than a 'good', imo. I can see how translation into another language might dilute the dialogue a little, a lot of it is very 'street', for want of a better word. Where'd you pick up the 60s book, like the sound of that?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on February 15, 2014, 03:43:38 PM
Amazon Spain, but Amazon UK's got it too (in fact it`s a british book). What surprised me is that I didn't know a lot of the images (and believe me, I've seen tons of 60s pics) and they're well printed too.

I think the pictures come from a newspapers' chain. Pity the only strictly mods' images are well known, but you've got rare photos of most bands of the british rock royalty of the era: Animals, Stones, Who, Kinks, Spencer Davis Group, Beatles of course, Small Faces, etc... It's really enjoyable and dirty cheap.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on February 15, 2014, 10:59:10 PM
Sounds good, mate, I'm on it. Thanks for the info!

If you fancy a funny book, check out 'The Second Coming' by John Niven. Great satire of the cult of celebrity, ridiculously blasphemous and very funny. Proper laugh-out-loud stuff!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on February 16, 2014, 04:21:57 PM
I'll check it out, another for the list  ;)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on February 20, 2014, 04:46:11 PM
This week I'm reading A Child Of The Jago by Arthur Morrison.  It was on my 'to buy' list but I was chatting about books with my favourite barmaid the other Sunday lunchtime (as you do) and she said it was one of her favourites (I was very impressed) and lent me her copy.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on February 20, 2014, 10:04:46 PM
This week I'm reading A Child Of The Jago by Arthur Morrison.  It was on my 'to buy' list but I was chatting about books with my favourite barmaid the other Sunday lunchtime (as you do) and she said it was one of her favourites (I was very impressed) and lent me her copy.

Another great book Ady (and I have to ask where you drink?! The conversation with the staff in my local starts and ends with - "cold or warm Guinness, salted or dry roasted nuts?").
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on February 21, 2014, 04:35:08 PM
This week I'm reading A Child Of The Jago by Arthur Morrison.  It was on my 'to buy' list but I was chatting about books with my favourite barmaid the other Sunday lunchtime (as you do) and she said it was one of her favourites (I was very impressed) and lent me her copy.

Another great book Ady (and I have to ask where you drink?! The conversation with the staff in my local starts and ends with - "cold or warm Guinness, salted or dry roasted nuts?").

It's called The Macintosh Arms and it's up here in Yorkshire.  Generally me and the barmaid talk about films, both having a passion for low budget B-movies (I lent her my copy of The Body Beneath and Blacula which she was really pleased with) but now I know she's an avid reader as well I also lent her The Gilt Kid.  if you're drinking Guinness, which I do, some of the bar staff will draw not only a clover but something quite rude in the froth which always makes me laugh.

A Child From The Jago is startling in its violence. I've just got to the part where the reverend turns up to stop the mob beating up the Ropers.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on February 23, 2014, 11:51:58 AM
This week I'm reading A Child Of The Jago by Arthur Morrison.  It was on my 'to buy' list but I was chatting about books with my favourite barmaid the other Sunday lunchtime (as you do) and she said it was one of her favourites (I was very impressed) and lent me her copy.

Another great book Ady (and I have to ask where you drink?! The conversation with the staff in my local starts and ends with - "cold or warm Guinness, salted or dry roasted nuts?").

It's called The Macintosh Arms and it's up here in Yorkshire.  Generally me and the barmaid talk about films, both having a passion for low budget B-movies (I lent her my copy of The Body Beneath and Blacula which she was really pleased with) but now I know she's an avid reader as well I also lent her The Gilt Kid.  if you're drinking Guinness, which I do, some of the bar staff will draw not only a clover but something quite rude in the froth which always makes me laugh.

A Child From The Jago is startling in its violence. I've just got to the part where the reverend turns up to stop the mob beating up the Ropers.

Great stuff Ady - sounds like a gem of a pub   / barmaid (as "lowlife" fans, we can't say "bar person" can we?). I love that the books are being appreciated in Yorkshire. I've often recommended books to friends up north / down south - and they've  expressed some doubt  - thinking they'll  be "too London". Not the case at all - it's the characters that make them great - recognising the geography is just an added bonus for a London anorak like me. In the same way, I really like Nevil Shute and JB Priestley - not knowing the geography doesn't really detract from the great writing.

Yeah, "Jago" doesn't hold back does it? If you like it, "King Dido" iby Alexander Baron is well worth keeping an eye out for.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on February 23, 2014, 04:25:38 PM
All this talk about A Child of the Jago; ordered a copy today. Lived five minutes from that area until recently so really looking to it.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on February 23, 2014, 09:00:59 PM
You won't be disappointed, Mark (ditto "King Dido" for that manor).

Also connected to where you used to live; have you read any John King? I've read a couple of his that he set around Uxbridge / Yiewsley - "Human Punk" and "Skinheads". They're not the best books but he seems to put a modern twist on lowlife fiction and he definitely caught some of the bland and bleak factors of living in the "burbs".



Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on February 24, 2014, 04:33:11 PM
This week I'm reading A Child Of The Jago by Arthur Morrison.  It was on my 'to buy' list but I was chatting about books with my favourite barmaid the other Sunday lunchtime (as you do) and she said it was one of her favourites (I was very impressed) and lent me her copy.

Another great book Ady (and I have to ask where you drink?! The conversation with the staff in my local starts and ends with - "cold or warm Guinness, salted or dry roasted nuts?").

It's called The Macintosh Arms and it's up here in Yorkshire.  Generally me and the barmaid talk about films, both having a passion for low budget B-movies (I lent her my copy of The Body Beneath and Blacula which she was really pleased with) but now I know she's an avid reader as well I also lent her The Gilt Kid.  if you're drinking Guinness, which I do, some of the bar staff will draw not only a clover but something quite rude in the froth which always makes me laugh.

A Child From The Jago is startling in its violence. I've just got to the part where the reverend turns up to stop the mob beating up the Ropers.

Great stuff Ady - sounds like a gem of a pub   / barmaid (as "lowlife" fans, we can't say "bar person" can we?). I love that the books are being appreciated in Yorkshire. I've often recommended books to friends up north / down south - and they've  expressed some doubt  - thinking they'll  be "too London". Not the case at all - it's the characters that make them great - recognising the geography is just an added bonus for a London anorak like me. In the same way, I really like Nevil Shute and JB Priestley - not knowing the geography doesn't really detract from the great writing.

Yeah, "Jago" doesn't hold back does it? If you like it, "King Dido" iby Alexander Baron is well worth keeping an eye out for.

Just ordered King Dido (I've read Baron's The Lowlife which I very much enjoyed) and you're right, it is the characters that make the books great and not necessarily the geography.

Oh, and it's definitely barmaid!!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: dani4ka on February 24, 2014, 05:23:48 PM
Just started "Naked Lunch" but I'm not getting into it...
Maybe it's because of the exams.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on February 24, 2014, 08:00:38 PM
Also connected to where you used to live; have you read any John King? I've read a couple of his that he set around Uxbridge / Yiewsley - "Human Punk" and "Skinheads". They're not the best books but he seems to put a modern twist on lowlife fiction and he definitely caught some of the bland and bleak factors of living in the "burbs".

Yes, read Skinheads and quite enjoyed it. Also, Football Factory and Headhunters but enjoyed them less although it was a very long time ago and I can't actually remember much about any of them now - not really a good sign.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bobby Charlton on February 24, 2014, 10:50:21 PM
Just started "Naked Lunch" but I'm not getting into it...
Maybe it's because of the exams.

Or... you're not stoned  ;D
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on February 27, 2014, 06:36:44 PM
King Dido - Alexander Baron.  This is shaping up to be one of the best books that I have ever read.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on February 27, 2014, 09:04:43 PM
King Dido - Alexander Baron.  This is shaping up to be one of the best books that I have ever read.

Great stuff!  Ady, do us a favour - when you get to the part of the family making their way to a funeral, can you note the page number (unlikely that we'd have different editions)? It really stuck with me as "clean living under difficult ( :o ) circumstances" but I couldn't find the passage when I looked recently.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on March 03, 2014, 05:54:36 PM
King Dido - Alexander Baron.  This is shaping up to be one of the best books that I have ever read.

Great stuff!  Ady, do us a favour - when you get to the part of the family making their way to a funeral, can you note the page number (unlikely that we'd have different editions)? It really stuck with me as "clean living under difficult ( :o ) circumstances" but I couldn't find the passage when I looked recently.

Bill - if it's Ginger's funeral then it's chapter 14 pages 204 -205.  Mine's the New London Editions.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: mr_duderino on March 03, 2014, 07:16:53 PM
Picked up Class Actor, Phil Daniels biography whilst the kids were terrorising the local library.  Not a massive quadrophenia fanboy or anything, but it jumped out!  Pretty good read as it goes.  Is written pretty much as you'd expect him to converse.  Grounded, and funny
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bobby Charlton on March 04, 2014, 09:07:13 PM
G J Ballard. Crash... for the umpteenth time.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on March 04, 2014, 09:26:47 PM
King Dido - Alexander Baron.  This is shaping up to be one of the best books that I have ever read.

Great stuff!  Ady, do us a favour - when you get to the part of the family making their way to a funeral, can you note the page number (unlikely that we'd have different editions)? It really stuck with me as "clean living under difficult ( :o ) circumstances" but I couldn't find the passage when I looked recently.

Bill - if it's Ginger's funeral then it's chapter 14 pages 204 -205.  Mine's the New London Editions.

Thanks Ady - that's great!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on March 05, 2014, 01:22:12 PM
I've been reading Suede - The Biography. I'm not a fan and it was a present for the missus but I thought I'd have a look as it seems like an interesting story. Bernard Butler seems like a right tosser which surprised me.
I've also been reading a sample of the Quadrophenia book by Stephen Glynn. Seems interesting enough although he does refer to Kev as Kenny.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on March 05, 2014, 06:34:00 PM
I bought it for the Kindle a couple of days ago, but I haven't begun to read it yet.

After all the hype 'bout Alexander Baron here, I've found by chance a spanish translation of one of his novels in a bookstore. The english title is "The Lowlife", anyone's read it?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on March 05, 2014, 06:44:09 PM
King Dido - Alexander Baron.  This is shaping up to be one of the best books that I have ever read.

Great stuff!  Ady, do us a favour - when you get to the part of the family making their way to a funeral, can you note the page number (unlikely that we'd have different editions)? It really stuck with me as "clean living under difficult ( :o ) circumstances" but I couldn't find the passage when I looked recently.

Bill - if it's Ginger's funeral then it's chapter 14 pages 204 -205.  Mine's the New London Editions.

Thanks Ady - that's great!

Just finished this and it's brilliant.  How one man's pride becomes his downfall.

Next up: The Angel And The Cuckoo - Gerald Kersh.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on March 05, 2014, 06:49:06 PM
I bought it for the Kindle a couple of days ago, but I haven't begun to read it yet.

After all the hype 'bout Alexander Baron here, I've found by chance a spanish translation of one of his novels in a bookstore. The english title is "The Lowlife", anyone's read it?

Yes, excellent novel.  Well worth reading.
I've been learning Spanish for a few years but I've only read a few novels in the language (the local library having  section of foreign language books).  Got quite a few Spanish fanzines, though.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on March 05, 2014, 07:46:04 PM
Animo, chaval!!  :)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on March 05, 2014, 09:17:30 PM
King Dido - Alexander Baron.  This is shaping up to be one of the best books that I have ever read.

Great stuff!  Ady, do us a favour - when you get to the part of the family making their way to a funeral, can you note the page number (unlikely that we'd have different editions)? It really stuck with me as "clean living under difficult ( :o ) circumstances" but I couldn't find the passage when I looked recently.

Bill - if it's Ginger's funeral then it's chapter 14 pages 204 -205.  Mine's the New London Editions.

Thanks Ady - that's great!

Just finished this and it's brilliant.  How one man's pride becomes his downfall.

Next up: The Angel And The Cuckoo - Gerald Kersh.

Glad it hit the spot, Ady.

The Angel & The Cuckoo is one of the strangest of the London books, that I've read - almost reads like a fantasy book to me - but I really liked it.

greenstreet -  another fan of The Lowlife, here.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Modculture on March 06, 2014, 11:16:14 AM
Just got a copy of that Quadrophenia book. It's a bit smaller than I expected! Had a mod terms glossary at the back though - that kind of thing is always unintentionally amusing. So added value there.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on March 06, 2014, 12:00:06 PM
At the risk of being laughed out of town; does the quadrophenia book have pictures? I'm only asking because if it doesn't, I'll get it for the kindle.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Modculture on March 06, 2014, 12:11:00 PM
Black and white ones - and not very big.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bobby Charlton on March 06, 2014, 05:47:20 PM
Just got a copy of that Quadrophenia book. It's a bit smaller than I expected! Had a mod terms glossary at the back though - that kind of thing is always unintentionally amusing. So added value there.

...Jimmy comes across as a right miserable little sod in that book. I spent most of my time reading it feeling like I wanted to give him a slap for being such a winge.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on March 07, 2014, 12:17:13 PM
That's surprising because in the film it seems, up to when he gets arrested, that he's having a great time.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bobby Charlton on March 07, 2014, 03:12:49 PM
That's surprising because in the film it seems, up to when he gets arrested, that he's having a great time.

The book is pretty different from the movie.
I've also read the follow up which is even more irritating:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/To-Someone-Continues-Inspired-Quadrophenia/dp/095709860X

(edit) I'd just like to comment; I picked this up from HMV for a pound.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on March 08, 2014, 11:20:51 AM
Which book are you referring to? The Quadrophenia novel by Alan Fletcher?

I've also read that follow up one. Thought it was ridiculous. I think the author has done another one too.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on March 18, 2014, 07:42:19 PM


The Angel & The Cuckoo is one of the strangest of the London books, that I've read - almost reads like a fantasy book to me - but I really liked it.

[/quote]
Just finished this one, Bill, and did enjoy it.  Kersh's style is very florid (I found that I had to look up quite a few words!) and he can be very witty. 

Just started Wide Boys Never Work by Robert Westerby which is probably more in keeping with the 'lowlife' novels which I'm currently smitten with.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on March 18, 2014, 08:52:50 PM


The Angel & The Cuckoo is one of the strangest of the London books, that I've read - almost reads like a fantasy book to me - but I really liked it.

Just finished this one, Bill, and did enjoy it.  Kersh's style is very florid (I found that I had to look up quite a few words!) and he can be very witty. 

Just started Wide Boys Never Work by Robert Westerby which is probably more in keeping with the 'lowlife' novels which I'm currently smitten with.
[/quote]

"Florid" - love it! A great description of his writing (wait 'til you try Fowler's End!).

Wide Boys... is excellent. I've said it before - but it makes Brighton Rock read like Janet & John.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: ianeggbert on March 19, 2014, 07:40:30 AM
Bob Stanley - Yeah Yeah Yeah (The Story Of Modern Pop)

For anyone remotely interested in pop/rock music, St Etienne member turned writer and journalist Bob Stanley has written an absolute blinder here! 700 pages that are well worth investing your time in.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Modculture on March 19, 2014, 10:43:29 AM
Bob Stanley - Yeah Yeah Yeah (The Story Of Modern Pop)

For anyone remotely interested in pop/rock music, St Etienne member turned writer and journalist Bob Stanley has written an absolute blinder here! 700 pages that are well worth investing your time in.

I keep pondering that, but not sure I can commit the time until the summer hols!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on March 19, 2014, 06:00:43 PM
Bob Stanley - Yeah Yeah Yeah (The Story Of Modern Pop)

For anyone remotely interested in pop/rock music, St Etienne member turned writer and journalist Bob Stanley has written an absolute blinder here! 700 pages that are well worth investing your time in.

I keep pondering that, but not sure I can commit the time until the summer hols!

Yep, same here. I like the pieces that Bob Stanley turns out - also  most of the compilations he's had a hand in - but I was put off by the size. Will give it a go, on your recommendation, Ian.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: ianeggbert on March 20, 2014, 07:47:51 AM
Bob Stanley - Yeah Yeah Yeah (The Story Of Modern Pop)

For anyone remotely interested in pop/rock music, St Etienne member turned writer and journalist Bob Stanley has written an absolute blinder here! 700 pages that are well worth investing your time in.

I keep pondering that, but not sure I can commit the time until the summer hols!

Yep, same here. I like the pieces that Bob Stanley turns out - also  most of the compilations he's had a hand in - but I was put off by the size. Will give it a go, on your recommendation, Ian.

Don't be put off by the size of the book chaps. Yes, it does look a little daunting but the contents are so well written and full of interesting facts and titbits that you can dip in and out of it when time permits!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on March 23, 2014, 07:52:50 PM
This week I'm reading A Child Of The Jago by Arthur Morrison.  It was on my 'to buy' list but I was chatting about books with my favourite barmaid the other Sunday lunchtime (as you do) and she said it was one of her favourites (I was very impressed) and lent me her copy.

About two-thirds of the way through this now (not your barmaid's copy). Best thing I've read for ages.

After that got The Kids Are Square, new book about the Medway music scene.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Bobby Charlton on March 23, 2014, 10:10:05 PM
Bob Stanley - Yeah Yeah Yeah (The Story Of Modern Pop)

For anyone remotely interested in pop/rock music, St Etienne member turned writer and journalist Bob Stanley has written an absolute blinder here! 700 pages that are well worth investing your time in.

Yes, I've seen this and have been tempted a couple of times.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on March 27, 2014, 05:24:48 PM
This week I'm reading A Child Of The Jago by Arthur Morrison.  It was on my 'to buy' list but I was chatting about books with my favourite barmaid the other Sunday lunchtime (as you do) and she said it was one of her favourites (I was very impressed) and lent me her copy.

About two-thirds of the way through this now (not your barmaid's copy). Best thing I've read for ages.

After that got The Kids Are Square, new book about the Medway music scene.

Thought you'd like Child of The Jago.  I'd recommend King Dido too.  It's set a stone's throw away from there about 15 years later and Dido's nemesis is from the (then demolished) slum.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on March 27, 2014, 05:31:27 PM
Just started Wide Boys Never Work by Robert Westerby which is probably more in keeping with the 'lowlife' novels which I'm currently smitten with.

Wide Boys... is excellent. I've said it before - but it makes Brighton Rock read like Janet & John.
[/quote]

Just finished Wide Boys... and it is brilliant: very gritty, teeming with a gallery of lowlife characters and environments.  Must have caused a furore when published in 1937 with its depictions of razor gangs, gambling clubs and Louie's lifestyle.

Next up:  Night And The City - Gerald Kirsh.  Is this one more florid prose, Bill?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on March 28, 2014, 09:39:09 AM
Just started Wide Boys Never Work by Robert Westerby which is probably more in keeping with the 'lowlife' novels which I'm currently smitten with.

Wide Boys... is excellent. I've said it before - but it makes Brighton Rock read like Janet & John.

Just finished Wide Boys... and it is brilliant: very gritty, teeming with a gallery of lowlife characters and environments.  Must have caused a furore when published in 1937 with its depictions of razor gangs, gambling clubs and Louie's lifestyle.

Next up:  Night And The City - Gerald Kirsh.  Is this one more florid prose, Bill?
[/quote]

Ha! No, less florrid. A great book - quite "tough" - toms and fighters and it feels very authentic. Old Gerald must have put himself about in some low circles. All in the name of research, I'm sure.  ;)

Ady, whilst you're on, do you remember reading that someone had "the complexion of a dirty plate"? I'm sure it was one of the London / lowlife novels but I can't find which.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on March 28, 2014, 04:36:45 PM
Just started Wide Boys Never Work by Robert Westerby which is probably more in keeping with the 'lowlife' novels which I'm currently smitten with.

Wide Boys... is excellent. I've said it before - but it makes Brighton Rock read like Janet & John.

Just finished Wide Boys... and it is brilliant: very gritty, teeming with a gallery of lowlife characters and environments.  Must have caused a furore when published in 1937 with its depictions of razor gangs, gambling clubs and Louie's lifestyle.

Next up:  Night And The City - Gerald Kirsh.  Is this one more florid prose, Bill?

Ha! No, less florrid. A great book - quite "tough" - toms and fighters and it feels very authentic. Old Gerald must have put himself about in some low circles. All in the name of research, I'm sure.  ;)

Ady, whilst you're on, do you remember reading that someone had "the complexion of a dirty plate"? I'm sure it was one of the London / lowlife novels but I can't find which.
[/quote]
Afternoon Bill.  I've not come across that description as of yet but I will keep it in mind and let you if I find it.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on March 28, 2014, 05:39:05 PM

Just finished Wide Boys... and it is brilliant: very gritty, teeming with a gallery of lowlife characters and environments.  Must have caused a furore when published in 1937 with its depictions of razor gangs, gambling clubs and Louie's lifestyle.

Next up:  Night And The City - Gerald Kirsh.  Is this one more florid prose, Bill?
[/quote]

Ady, whilst you're on, do you remember reading that someone had "the complexion of a dirty plate"? I'm sure it was one of the London / lowlife novels but I can't find which.
[/quote]
Afternoon Bill.  I've not come across that description as of yet but I will keep it in mind and let you if I find it.
[/quote]

Scrub that, Bill, I think I've found in Wide Boys...(just been skimming back through it).

"...the noticeboard holds strips giving the racing results of the afternoon, names and prices, written in board-school copperplate, and pinned up every half-hour by a pimply youth in a skin-tight black suit.  The youth's name is Perce, and it looks as if it would be.  His face is the colour of a dirty plate, and no-one has ever seen him without a half-smoked cigarette drooping from this mouth".  (Page 127 of the London Books Classics edition
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on March 28, 2014, 06:03:29 PM
Just finished the Quadrophenia essay by Stephen Glynn. I've found it unbalanced, a loosely structured hodge-podge of reflections & facts related to the film, shifting the tone too often from academic study to plain account of trivia. Nothing new either, cos' the research's based in second-hand sources.

On the upside, the obvious affection that Glynn, an ex-revival-mod, feels for the movie is touching and lifts the book above its shortcomings, at least for me: it reminded me of how much Quadrophenia meant when I was a teenager. Besides, the essay is useful as a reference book as it gathers some facts scattered till now in other books and magazines. Being spanish, I found interesting too the influence of the film in the british mod scene through the 80s and 90s.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on March 28, 2014, 06:30:02 PM

Just finished Wide Boys... and it is brilliant: very gritty, teeming with a gallery of lowlife characters and environments.  Must have caused a furore when published in 1937 with its depictions of razor gangs, gambling clubs and Louie's lifestyle.

Next up:  Night And The City - Gerald Kirsh.  Is this one more florid prose, Bill?

Ady, whilst you're on, do you remember reading that someone had "the complexion of a dirty plate"? I'm sure it was one of the London / lowlife novels but I can't find which.
[/quote]
Afternoon Bill.  I've not come across that description as of yet but I will keep it in mind and let you if I find it.
[/quote]

Scrub that, Bill, I think I've found in Wide Boys...(just been skimming back through it).

"...the noticeboard holds strips giving the racing results of the afternoon, names and prices, written in board-school copperplate, and pinned up every half-hour by a pimply youth in a skin-tight black suit.  The youth's name is Perce, and it looks as if it would be.  His face is the colour of a dirty plate, and no-one has ever seen him without a half-smoked cigarette drooping from this mouth".  (Page 127 of the London Books Classics edition
[/quote]

Ah, you're a diamond, Ady!
I love it as a description (and I'd have put money on it not being from that book - what a stroke!).

A virtual pint for you, sir!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 09, 2014, 04:43:12 PM
Just started Wide Boys Never Work by Robert Westerby which is probably more in keeping with the 'lowlife' novels which I'm currently smitten with.

Wide Boys... is excellent. I've said it before - but it makes Brighton Rock read like Janet & John.

Just finished Wide Boys... and it is brilliant: very gritty, teeming with a gallery of lowlife characters and environments.  Must have caused a furore when published in 1937 with its depictions of razor gangs, gambling clubs and Louie's lifestyle.

Next up:  Night And The City - Gerald Kirsh.  Is this one more florid prose, Bill?

Ha! No, less florrid. A great book - quite "tough" - toms and fighters and it feels very authentic. Old Gerald must have put himself about in some low circles. All in the name of research, I'm sure.  ;)

Bill - I'm still reading Night And The City.  It's brilliant.  Kirsh has wonderfully evocative way with words : "She was a tall, slender, red-haired girl in a black lace evening gown.  Under her rouge, one could distinguish the papery greyish pallor of the night-bird - the dead opacity born of dank dance-halls, where, in thick blue  smoke and the exhalations of steamy bodies, the crude, raw  rhythms of red-hot gut-bucket jazz seemed to shake the blood out of women". 
Further to 'lowlife' literature I went and had a few teatime drinks as my favourite barmaid was working.  She absolutely adored The Gilt Kid and has started reading King Dido, which she had in her bag with her and she can't put that one down. "Have you any more of these sorts of books, Ady?" she asked.  Have I ever.  If you think The Gilt Kid is great then wait till you read Wide Boys...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on April 12, 2014, 03:59:05 PM
Just started Wide Boys Never Work by Robert Westerby which is probably more in keeping with the 'lowlife' novels which I'm currently smitten with.

Wide Boys... is excellent. I've said it before - but it makes Brighton Rock read like Janet & John.

Just finished Wide Boys... and it is brilliant: very gritty, teeming with a gallery of lowlife characters and environments.  Must have caused a furore when published in 1937 with its depictions of razor gangs, gambling clubs and Louie's lifestyle.

Next up:  Night And The City - Gerald Kirsh.  Is this one more florid prose, Bill?

Ha! No, less florrid. A great book - quite "tough" - toms and fighters and it feels very authentic. Old Gerald must have put himself about in some low circles. All in the name of research, I'm sure.  ;)

Bill - I'm still reading Night And The City.  It's brilliant.  Kirsh has wonderfully evocative way with words : "She was a tall, slender, red-haired girl in a black lace evening gown.  Under her rouge, one could distinguish the papery greyish pallor of the night-bird - the dead opacity born of dank dance-halls, where, in thick blue  smoke and the exhalations of steamy bodies, the crude, raw  rhythms of red-hot gut-bucket jazz seemed to shake the blood out of women". 
Further to 'lowlife' literature I went and had a few teatime drinks as my favourite barmaid was working.  She absolutely adored The Gilt Kid and has started reading King Dido, which she had in her bag with her and she can't put that one down. "Have you any more of these sorts of books, Ady?" she asked.  Have I ever.  If you think The Gilt Kid is great then wait till you read Wide Boys...

Sorry Ady - missed your last post.

I love that - "red-hot, gut bucket jazz"!
Shouldn't generalise - but I'm surprised that a female really likes King Dido - do you reckon your barmaid would fancy a transfer to my local? ;)

I've just got hold of a newer book in the lowlife vein: "Duffy is dead" by JM O'Neill. It was written in the late 80's, set around a north London Irish boozer. Only started it this morning - but it's looking full of gritty promise. I'll feedback on completion.

p.s. Don't know if you saw but a  fella on Mastermind last night did the books of Patrick Hamilton as his specialist subject.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 13, 2014, 09:51:21 AM

[/quote]

Sorry Ady - missed your last post.

I love that - "red-hot, gut bucket jazz"!
Shouldn't generalise - but I'm surprised that a female really likes King Dido - do you reckon your barmaid would fancy a transfer to my local? ;)

I've just got hold of a newer book in the lowlife vein: "Duffy is dead" by JM O'Neill. It was written in the late 80's, set around a north London Irish boozer. Only started it this morning - but it's looking full of gritty promise. I'll feedback on completion.

p.s. Don't know if you saw but a  fella on Mastermind last night did the books of Patrick Hamilton as his specialist subject.
[/quote]

My favourite barmaid confesses to having a crush on Dido Peach so she can't have been that far into the book!  I'll ask her if she fancies a transfer to that there London.
I missed the fella's Patrick Hamilton questions.  I switched it over and John Humphreys was just introducing him for his general knowledge questions.  I'll have a look on iplayer later.  Have you seen the BBC adaptation of Twenty Thousand Streets...?  If not then PM me with your address and I'll send you the DVD.
Looking forward to your feedback on Duffy Is Dead.  Got a couple more books this week:  They Drive By Night by James Curtis and The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon.  Had the happy distraction of Smiler's wonderful book this week so not read much else
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on April 13, 2014, 04:38:57 PM
Just finished "The lowlife". What a great, powerful and moving novel; if King Dido's half as good I need to read it NOW (well, after the Smiler book  :D ).

The translation I've read of Lowlife, tho' in argentinian spanish, is lively and seems accurate. Shame this was the only book by Baron I could find translated, guess I'll read him in english; yeah, I know it's the best option but it slows my reading and I miss certain nuances. I'll search for King Dido first, but I've heard Baron's memories of his war service are worthy too, has anyone read them?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on April 13, 2014, 08:33:48 PM
Good man, Green St! Although, your post makes me feel seriously inadequate in the linguistic department!
I haven't read Baron's war memoirs - but I could imagine they're engaging - those fellas definitely saw plenty of life.

As Ady said, Gerald Kersh is well worth a look too, especially if you enjoyed "The Lowlife".



Ady: I have seen "Twenty thousand streets...".I have the dvd and quite enjoyed it (thanks v much for your kind offer btw). My dad got wind that they were doing some pf the filming at the actual pub that "The Midnight Bell" was based on - we went up but they'd packed up and gorn - a very Hamiltonesque disappointment!.

I enjoyed "They drive by night". It's strangely sinister and quite draining, considering not much happens in the plot compared to some of the others in that series. I saw the film - "Hell Drivers"  - quite recently and that was similar.

As for the Selvon book - it's brilliant. I don't know if you've read Colin Mcinnes' "City of spades" but Selvon knocks it into a cock hat in terms of authenticity and warmth.

I'm working through Smiler's book, too. Too big to read in bed, or on the tube - but I like that - just working through the odd few pages and taking my time with the photos and flyers etc.

Right, I'll boldly say get "Duffy is dead" on order. I'm only 3 chapters in and I feel like I need jet-washing and my liver needs wringing out. Really atmospheric and he makes Patrick H seem a beacon of sobriety. Will definitely seek out his other stuff.


Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on April 14, 2014, 08:12:27 AM
Cheers mate, I'm adding Kersh to my list!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 14, 2014, 03:33:25 PM
Cheers mate, I'm adding Kersh to my list!
I'm about a third of the way through Kersh's Night And The City: it is superb.  I would also recommend Wide Boys Never Work by Robert Westerby; it's cut from a similar cloth.
I cannot recommend King Dido highly enough.  I preferred it to The Lowlife, which is another excellent novel, as to me it had a bit more character depth
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on April 14, 2014, 04:10:09 PM
King Dido's first on my list, but it'll have to wait till I finish Smiler's magnum opus.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 23, 2014, 04:15:30 PM
Just finished They Drive By Night by James Curtis which is a fantastic book.  He really brings to life the grubby sordidness of the nocturnal goings-on not only in London's red light areas but also on The Great North Road in the 1930s.  Probably enjoyed this more than The Gilt Kid as some of They Drive By Night is set up north.

Just started Duffy Is Dead by JM O'Neill; about a chapter into this one.  If I was the landlord I would have sacked that cleaner.  Makes the Dingles look like Margo and Jerry Leadbetter.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on April 24, 2014, 08:24:48 PM
Just started Duffy Is Dead by JM O'Neill; about a chapter into this one.  If I was the landlord I would have sacked that cleaner.  Makes the Dingles look like Margo and Jerry Leadbetter.

Yep, it's nearer the gutter than the stars isn't it?

Any recommendations Ady (or anyone)? I'll finish "Duffy" tonight and I'll need something for the weekend (ahem).
p.s. Preferably available on kindle as the letter box has been busy this week. :-\
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Tintin on April 24, 2014, 09:37:16 PM
Just finished Simon Wells biography of Charles Manson/Family - meticulously researched, intriguing and chilling. Highly recommended.

About to start The History of the NME - Pat Long
........and dipping in to The Ivy Look, while on the pan.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 25, 2014, 03:35:12 PM
Just started Duffy Is Dead by JM O'Neill; about a chapter into this one.  If I was the landlord I would have sacked that cleaner.  Makes the Dingles look like Margo and Jerry Leadbetter.

Yep, it's nearer the gutter than the stars isn't it?

Any recommendations Ady (or anyone)? I'll finish "Duffy" tonight and I'll need something for the weekend (ahem).
p.s. Preferably available on kindle as the letter box has been busy this week. :-\
Hi Bill,
Have you read Sick City by Tony O'Neill?  American west coast lowlife.  Here's kindle link and also review from Monkey's august blog.  I still feel dirty now when I think of it...
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sick-City-Novel-Tony-ONeill-ebook/dp/B003MVZ5S6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1398439933&sr=1-1&keywords=sick+city (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sick-City-Novel-Tony-ONeill-ebook/dp/B003MVZ5S6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1398439933&sr=1-1&keywords=sick+city)
http://monkey-picks.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/sick-city-by-tony-oneill.html (http://monkey-picks.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/sick-city-by-tony-oneill.html)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on April 26, 2014, 11:38:47 AM
Excellent, cheers Ady -  I've actually had a couple of clients recommend this to me in the past (heavy users) - and I've not got around to it. So, I'll gladly take your recommendation and will get that, now.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 27, 2014, 10:01:02 AM
Excellent, cheers Ady -  I've actually had a couple of clients recommend this to me in the past (heavy users) - and I've not got around to it. So, I'll gladly take your recommendation and will get that, now.

Good stuff, Bill.

Finished Duffy Is Dead and enjoyed that one.  I have drank in pubs not dissimilar to The Trade Winds.
Just ordered Mord Em'ly by William Pett Ridge.  Written in 1901 I think it explores similar themes to Child Of The Jago.  I saw on the http://www.london-books.co.uk/index.html (http://www.london-books.co.uk/index.html) website that this is an upcoming release but I found an old second hand copy on Amazon for a penny plus postage. 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on April 27, 2014, 12:59:39 PM
Excellent, cheers Ady -  I've actually had a couple of clients recommend this to me in the past (heavy users) - and I've not got around to it. So, I'll gladly take your recommendation and will get that, now.

Good stuff, Bill.

Finished Duffy Is Dead and enjoyed that one.  I have drank in pubs not dissimilar to The Trade Winds.
Just ordered Mord Em'ly by William Pett Ridge.  Written in 1901 I think it explores similar themes to Child Of The Jago.  I saw on the http://www.london-books.co.uk/index.html (http://www.london-books.co.uk/index.html) website that this is an upcoming release but I found an old second hand copy on Amazon for a penny plus postage.

Hmmm, I also have to confess to too much time being spent in North London Irish boozers (still do, given half a chance - although there aren't many left like the Trade Winds).

What did you make of the ending of "Duffy is dead"? Wasn't how I'd anticipated it at all.

I've never heard of that Pett-Ridge book - will definitely check that out.

Have you seen the London Fictions website? Some excellent reviews, categorised by time periods 1900 - 1950 etc.

http://www.londonfictions.com/
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 28, 2014, 03:58:53 PM
Excellent, cheers Ady -  I've actually had a couple of clients recommend this to me in the past (heavy users) - and I've not got around to it. So, I'll gladly take your recommendation and will get that, now.

Good stuff, Bill.

Finished Duffy Is Dead and enjoyed that one.  I have drank in pubs not dissimilar to The Trade Winds.
Just ordered Mord Em'ly by William Pett Ridge.  Written in 1901 I think it explores similar themes to Child Of The Jago.  I saw on the http://www.london-books.co.uk/index.html (http://www.london-books.co.uk/index.html) website that this is an upcoming release but I found an old second hand copy on Amazon for a penny plus postage.

Hmmm, I also have to confess to too much time being spent in North London Irish boozers (still do, given half a chance - although there aren't many left like the Trade Winds).

What did you make of the ending of "Duffy is dead"? Wasn't how I'd anticipated it at all.

I've never heard of that Pett-Ridge book - will definitely check that out.

Have you seen the London Fictions website? Some excellent reviews, categorised by time periods 1900 - 1950 etc.

http://www.londonfictions.com/


I liked the ending of Duffy Is Dead.  I couldn't figure out how or if Calnan would get the rest of the whip money from those two chancers but he had them weighed up, didn't he?

I have seen the London Fictions website and used it to choose books.  I've got quite a few of the lowlife genre now.  I was surprised to find a copy of the William Pett Ridge book at that price as those London Classics tend to be long out of print books and some are quite pricey.  Just ordered Kersh's Prelude To A Certain Midnight (it's a brilliant title, isn't it?).
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on April 29, 2014, 10:27:11 AM
Reading (& enjoying) at the moment "Bathed in lightnin'", a bio of John McLaughlin. Before you start running for cover, let me remind you that McLaughlin played a pivotal role in the soul-jazz/R&B british scene of the 60s. In fact the book focuses is this 60s career, pre-Mahavishnu, so a lot of recollections and details from the usual suspects: Georgie Fame, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Ginger Baker, Herbie Goins, Mick Eve...

Talking about Mick Eve (tenor sax player of the Blue Flames), I find this book's a nice complement to the Smiler's bible. In fact, Mick Eve's recollections grace the two essays and it's very interesting to compare the two points of view: that of the musicians that provided the soundtrack to the all-nighters and that of the young mods that were (part of) the audience.

Besides, as a bonus there's a couple of extra chapters in the kindle edition & at least one of them deals with the mods!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on May 08, 2014, 03:29:03 PM
Mord Em'ly by William Pett Ridge. 
Mord Em’ly is a member of the all-female Gilliken Gang which roams the streets of Whitechapel – fighting the Bermondsey Gang and generally terrorizing the neighbourhood.  A spirited young girl, she is sent to a ‘Home’ in Surrey for stealing cream-filled meringues from a shop in Walworth Road.  She dreams of London – the lighted shops, the crowded pavements, the bustling street-markets, the penny shows and, above all, the Gilliken Gang – but is disappointed by the reality when she returns.  The Gang has broken up – MIss Gilliken has joined the Salvation Army, while in stark contrast some of the others have become prostitutes.  Mord Em’ly finds work as a waitress at Mitchell’s dining-rooms.  It is here that she meets the weaselly Mt Wetherell, a wheeler-dealer socialist soap-box orator, and the striking young boxer, Henry Barden.

What did surprise me on the first page is the following passage: “(they) all wore black braided jackets (pinned), maroon skirts, hats with plush decorations, and smart boots.  It was near to being a uniform”.  Seems that the teenager may have existed much earlier than the 50s.  It’s the earliest reference (1898) that I’ve come across to youths, and a gang of girls too, dressing identically to set them apart from their peers. 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Robin_Wick on May 13, 2014, 09:44:19 PM
Currently reading 'Top Fellas' - the tale of Melbourne's sharpies... a kind of post-Mod youth cult which then extends through skinhead and into hard rock. Interesting stuff! Even if the fashion leaves me cold post-71/72...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on May 14, 2014, 08:50:45 PM
Mord Em'ly by William Pett Ridge. 
Mord Em’ly is a member of the all-female Gilliken Gang which roams the streets of Whitechapel – fighting the Bermondsey Gang and generally terrorizing the neighbourhood.  A spirited young girl, she is sent to a ‘Home’ in Surrey for stealing cream-filled meringues from a shop in Walworth Road.  She dreams of London – the lighted shops, the crowded pavements, the bustling street-markets, the penny shows and, above all, the Gilliken Gang – but is disappointed by the reality when she returns.  The Gang has broken up – MIss Gilliken has joined the Salvation Army, while in stark contrast some of the others have become prostitutes.  Mord Em’ly finds work as a waitress at Mitchell’s dining-rooms.  It is here that she meets the weaselly Mt Wetherell, a wheeler-dealer socialist soap-box orator, and the striking young boxer, Henry Barden.

What did surprise me on the first page is the following passage: “(they) all wore black braided jackets (pinned), maroon skirts, hats with plush decorations, and smart boots.  It was near to being a uniform”.  Seems that the teenager may have existed much earlier than the 50s.  It’s the earliest reference (1898) that I’ve come across to youths, and a gang of girls too, dressing identically to set them apart from their peers.


Sold, Ady - I've just downloaded it - sounds great!
The early identical dress thing - puts me in mind of "Gangs of New York".

You were right about "Sick City" :o - that was written in the sub-basement of "lowlife". I loved it!

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on May 18, 2014, 09:16:00 AM
I think Sick City is probably the darkest book that I have read and I also enjoyed it hugely!

Just finished Nell Dunn's Up The Junction, a series of vignettes written from the perspective of a teenage girl in early 60s Battersea.  It's warm, often funny but also quite harrowing (the backstreet abortion in Bang On The Common) and there is a sense of carpe diem as these people seize every opportunity to have a good time.  It caused quite a stir when it was published but I think that the sexual mores probably overshadowed the equally important depiction of working class poverty.

Just started Prelude To A Certain Midnight by Gerald Kersh. "In London under the fog of war, a ten year old Jewish girl is murdered.  They police have no clues and little interest, so crusader Asta Thundersley takes up the challenge, sifting through clues and gathering up suspects for a dinner party where...nothing is learned.  Detective Turpin goes by the book and finds himself with a stunning set...of dead ends".  I'm a big fan of Kersh; he's brilliant at character sketches and had a wonderful armoury of descriptive metaphors and  similes at his command.  One lady, once ever so beautiful but now has deep sadness in her life and has let herself go, is described as having eyes that resemble “a couple of cockroaches desperately swimming in two saucers of boiled rhubarb”.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on May 22, 2014, 07:08:23 PM
The Lonely Londoners - Sam Selvon.  Been meaning to read it for a while now.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on May 26, 2014, 10:12:36 AM
Ady, I'm with you on Kersh - fantastic writer. I haven't actually read "Prelude..." but I definitely will now. That's a horrible / lovely description of her eyes!

I thought Sevlon's book was stunning - really in a class of it's own - and flooded with authenticity.

I'm slowly getting through Maud Em'ly. Really enjoying it - but I'm also reading a book on Mindfulness (which has put the kibosh on my own plans to write a book on "everyday" mindfulness!  >:( ).
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on May 28, 2014, 08:10:29 PM
Ady, I'm with you on Kersh - fantastic writer. I haven't actually read "Prelude..." but I definitely will now. That's a horrible / lovely description of her eyes!

I thought Sevlon's book was stunning - really in a class of it's own - and flooded with authenticity.

I'm slowly getting through Maud Em'ly. Really enjoying it - but I'm also reading a book on Mindfulness (which has put the kibosh on my own plans to write a book on "everyday" mindfulness!  >:( ).
Agree with you on Lonely Londoners - loved it once I got into the rhythm of his patois.  Favourite part was the fete where the steel band are playing and all the 'boys' turn up.

Started reading Doctor of the Lost - Simon Blumenfeld's fictionalised story of Dr Bernardo's early years in East London.  Only twenty-odd pages into it but it's very vivid. 

Bill - which mindfulness book are you reading?  A workmate was telling me about this and her daily meditation routines recently.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on May 28, 2014, 10:38:05 PM
Been readin' "Look Who's Back" by Timur Vermes.

Hitler wakes up in Berlin 2011 n' embarks oan a media career.

Funny as feck.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on May 31, 2014, 10:09:22 AM

Bill - which mindfulness book are you reading?  A workmate was telling me about this and her daily meditation routines recently.

Yep, it's certainly becoming widely used, Ady - particularly now that the religious and hippy dippy elements have been replaced by scientific research. This one is "Mindfulness on the Go" by Padraig O'Morain. The subtitle is "Peace in your pocket" - but don't let that put you off - it is actually quite good (spit! :-\).

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mindfulness-Go-Peace-Your-Pocket/dp/1444785990/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on July 09, 2014, 06:51:47 PM
Just finished the new Quadrophenia book. Quite an interesting read and lots of pictures that i don't recall having seen anywhere else.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on July 23, 2014, 07:19:28 PM
Started The Passing Of Evil by Mark McShane (probably best known work of his is Séance on a Wet Afternoon).  It's another novel about London's sleazy crooks and wannabees in the early 60s and excellent it is too.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on August 02, 2014, 06:34:57 AM
There Ain't No Justice - James Curtis.  Written in the 1930s, it's about a working class lad who sees boxing as his escape out of poverty.  The book is populated with the usual cast of shady lowlife characters; excellent stuff.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on August 02, 2014, 02:46:40 PM
I've not long finished that, Ady - loved it!
I get the impression that not much has changed in the fight world.

Am currently reading England's Lane by Joseph Connolly. There was potential but - and I cringe saying this - his characters don't half waffle on. I'm trying to resist bailing out.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on August 03, 2014, 11:30:21 AM
I've not long finished that, Ady - loved it!
I get the impression that not much has changed in the fight world.

Am currently reading England's Lane by Joseph Connolly. There was potential but - and I cringe saying this - his characters don't half waffle on. I'm trying to resist bailing out.
James Curtis is currently my favourite author, his output is just so impressive.  Will probably get round to reading the Connolly book.
Did you want to borrow The Passing Of Evil by Mark McShane?  Enjoyed that one.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on August 03, 2014, 02:57:44 PM
I've not long finished that, Ady - loved it!
I get the impression that not much has changed in the fight world.

Am currently reading England's Lane by Joseph Connolly. There was potential but - and I cringe saying this - his characters don't half waffle on. I'm trying to resist bailing out.
James Curtis is currently my favourite author, his output is just so impressive.  Will probably get round to reading the Connolly book.
Did you want to borrow The Passing Of Evil by Mark McShane?  Enjoyed that one.

Cheers Ady - I will!  I'd offer the same for the Connolly - but I have it as an ebook. Will think of another that you might like.
Bill.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: ianeggbert on August 04, 2014, 08:32:21 PM
Currently reading The People's Songs by Stuart Maconie.

I'm a big fan of Mr Maconie, his writing TV & Radio shows are always witty and intelligent and this book continues in that theme. A companion to his People's Songs radio series it charts the 50 songs that he feels have been a soundtrack for our lives from Vera Lynn onwards. Recommended reading

Next up is Barry Miles "In The Sixties" which was recommended to me by someone who knows I have an avid interest in that period. Looking forward to that one too   
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on August 27, 2014, 05:29:13 PM
Currently reading Fowlers End by Gerald Kersh which Soulstar Bill recommended; about a third of the way through and it's starting to pick up now.  Again, Bill, I've had to look up words that he slips ever so effortlessly into his prose and you can't skim read him because every sentence is worthwhile which I find is a good thing.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on August 28, 2014, 04:09:20 PM
Just finished Frank's Wild Years by Nick Triplow (published 2012).

Not something I'd usually seek out, it's a kinda old-school-gangsters-in-the-boozer type novel, but was impressed. Far more intelligently written than I was expecting; the characters are all well written, as is the dialogue and little touches nostalgia as the story flicks between the past and the present and all comes together nicely at the end.

And if you're wondering where the mod connection comes in, one character sticks a Small Faces CD on in his car...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on August 28, 2014, 04:56:44 PM
Just finished Frank's Wild Years by Nick Triplow (published 2012).

Not something I'd usually seek out, it's a kinda old-school-gangsters-in-the-boozer type novel, but was impressed. Far more intelligently written than I was expecting; the characters are all well written, as is the dialogue and little touches nostalgia as the story flicks between the past and the present and all comes together nicely at the end.

And if you're wondering where the mod connection comes in, one character sticks a Small Faces CD on in his car...

Is it right some of this book is set in Humberside?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on September 02, 2014, 08:14:18 PM
Have just gone for Monkey's recommendation - Frank's Wild Years.

Ady mentioned "The Passing of Evil", earlier  up the page - and kindly leant it to me. I love this genre anyway - but this is something special. It describes a period that's being talked about on a mod facebook group quite a lot recently -  the "ballrooms", before the mainstream mod thing kicked off. That's by the by, 'though - the characters are 'orrible, lovely and fantastic.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on September 04, 2014, 04:39:56 PM
Have just gone for Monkey's recommendation - Frank's Wild Years.

Ady mentioned "The Passing of Evil", earlier  up the page - and kindly leant it to me. I love this genre anyway - but this is something special. It describes a period that's being talked about on a mod facebook group quite a lot recently -  the "ballrooms", before the mainstream mod thing kicked off. That's by the by, 'though - the characters are 'orrible, lovely and fantastic.
Pleased you're enjoying that one, Bill; found it quite by chance when I was chasing up another book of its genre.  Surprised it's not more widely known and it would be good if it was republished by London Books Classics as it fits their criteria exactly.  Another one they ought to publish is James Curtis' You're In The Racket, Too as that's very hard to find.

Must admit that I'm struggling a little bit with Fowlers End. I've not got into it as much as I did, say, Prelude To A Certain Midnight (have you read that one?) but I'll press on with it. 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: SuaveCollective on September 09, 2014, 10:59:57 AM
Just finished Mark Baxter's excellent Elizabeth, Peter & Me. There are limited numbers of book-copies available so I suggest if anyone is interested to step lively. It has also been released as a Kindle book via Wholepoint I believe and available on Amazon.

If you've read any of Mark's work before then you'll know he does a great line in modern Ealing film style. An honest mix of knowing humour and gentle measures of pathos and mini-triumphs that make you smile as you read, and this book is no exception.

After the film success of The Mumper (Outside Bet) this should be a shoe-in for a brit-flick. It is a better story too and deserves to be read by anyone with a penchant for a bye-gone Britain that's still there if you wish to see it. To me, Mark is like the Ray Davies of literature in this way....

The book is about an ex thief and jailbird who now in his dotage suddenly needs to retrieve some stolen gems from the grave of his fences mother, 40 years after they were buried with her. The plot alone is well worth the entrance fee....

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Elizabeth-Peter-Me-Story-Robbing-ebook/dp/B00N36NJLU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410260202&sr=1-1&keywords=mark+baxter

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on September 09, 2014, 11:05:20 AM
Just finished Mark Baxter's excellent Elizabeth, Peter & Me. There are limited numbers of book-copies available so I suggest if anyone is interested to step lively. It has also been released as a Kindle book via Wholepoint I believe and available on Amazon.

If you've read any of Mark's work before then you'll know he does a great line in modern Ealing film style. An honest mix of knowing humour and gentle measures of pathos and mini-triumphs that make you smile as you read, and this book is no exception.

After the film success of The Mumper (Outside Bet) this should be a shoe-in for a brit-flick. It is a better story too and deserves to be read by anyone with a penchant for a bye-gone Britain that's still there if you wish to see it. To me, Mark is like the Ray Davies of literature in this way....

The book is about an ex thief and jailbird who now in his dotage suddenly needs to retrieve some stolen gems from the grave of his fences mother, 40 years after they were buried with her. The plot alone is well worth the entrance fee....

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Elizabeth-Peter-Me-Story-Robbing-ebook/dp/B00N36NJLU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410260202&sr=1-1&keywords=mark+baxter

Love the sound of this, J, have just snared a kindle edition for the princely sum of £1.53! Good shout, mate 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: SuaveCollective on September 09, 2014, 11:58:44 AM
You'll enjoy it Nick I'm sure - It's a nice easy read (although anyone not familiar with Cockney Rhyme and Slang may spend half the time referring to the glossary at the back)

...we'll worth £1.53 any road!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on September 09, 2014, 12:11:43 PM
Just finished Ian Moore "A la Mod" and it's delightful, I'll put "Modnifique" on my list for sure. Actually immersed in "Sawdust Caesars", as fascinating a reading as the Smiler's magnum opus, I'm enjoying it to the full. A very fine year for mod-related books indeed  8)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: BrianB on September 09, 2014, 08:19:46 PM
Private i.

A little pulp spy novel I bought at a thrift store for a dollar...ended up being a really good story that I could see making a movie that most here would like.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on September 09, 2014, 09:19:37 PM
Just finished Frank's Wild Years by Nick Triplow (published 2012).

Not something I'd usually seek out, it's a kinda old-school-gangsters-in-the-boozer type novel, but was impressed. Far more intelligently written than I was expecting; the characters are all well written, as is the dialogue and little touches nostalgia as the story flicks between the past and the present and all comes together nicely at the end.

And if you're wondering where the mod connection comes in, one character sticks a Small Faces CD on in his car...

Is it right some of this book is set in Humberside?

Yes Stax, mostly set in London but there is a Humberside connection. Pretty sure the author now lives there.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on September 09, 2014, 11:16:56 PM
"The Three Degrees" book aboot the West Brom team fae the mid-late 70s wi' Laurie Cunningham, Cyrille Regis n' Brendon Batson.

Childhood pal ay mine's had an uncle played centre half fur them.


No a bad read at aw n' a reminder ay how the so-called "Three Degrees" wur very much trailblazers fur aw the black fitba players in the leagues these days.


Saw Cunningham when he'd moved tae Real Madrid n' Celtic played them in the European Cup in 1980.  Some player he wis.




Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on September 12, 2014, 10:07:05 AM
Just finished Greg Kot's new book, I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples, The Staple Singers and the March Up Freedom's Highway. So nice for the Staples to finally have book dedicated to them. Long overdue. If there's one person in the world I'd like to give a big hug to, it's Mavis Staples...

Also, by way of something completely different, A Rage In Harlem by Chester Himes (1957). Oh man, I hadn't expected this to be so funny. Yeah, it's a bit violent but just the way it's written (like Himes was taking the piss) had me cracking up. If you're looking for junkies, thieves and whores, get on it.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on September 13, 2014, 06:12:38 AM
Just finished Greg Kot's new book, I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples, The Staple Singers and the March Up Freedom's Highway. So nice for the Staples to finally have book dedicated to them. Long overdue. If there's one person in the world I'd like to give a big hug to, it's Mavis Staples...

Also, by way of something completely different, A Rage In Harlem by Chester Himes (1957). Oh man, I hadn't expected this to be so funny. Yeah, it's a bit violent but just the way it's written (like Himes was taking the piss) had me cracking up. If you're looking for junkies, thieves and whores, get on it.

I'm on it, Monkey!  Just ordered a copy this minute
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on September 20, 2014, 07:29:54 AM
This week it's been Ian Moore's A la Mod which was okay; a light, frothy read.  Mr Cool's Dream, Ian Munn's exhaustively researched Style Council book which has had me playing their records and looking up clips on YouTube. 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: leeboy on September 20, 2014, 02:50:20 PM
This week it's been Ian Moore's A la Mod which was okay; a light, frothy read.  Mr Cool's Dream, Ian Munn's exhaustively researched Style Council book which has had me playing their records and looking up clips on YouTube.

Good that this has been re released, original copies were on Amazon on sale for £50!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on September 29, 2014, 09:07:59 AM
Nearly finished Chas & Dave: All About Us by Chas Hodges.

If you can ignore the casual homophobia, xenophobia and sexism, parts of the pre-Chas & Dave period - working with Joe Meek, the Outlaws, Jerry Lee Lewis, Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers etc - are mildly interesting.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on September 29, 2014, 09:48:19 AM
It's a good book that one, but it's more of Chas's autobigraphy. Could do with a proper Chas & Dave book.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on October 04, 2014, 09:23:50 AM
The Hooligan Nights by Clarence Rook.  Originally published in 1899 it tells the story a young ne'er-do-well urchin's life of crime in London.  Very good it is too although I struggle a bit understanding some of the slang.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on October 05, 2014, 12:36:48 AM
Aboot two thirds thru "Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion".

Seems like hings started gaun doonhill when Otis died.  Heavy scene wi' gangster involvement n' guns in the studio.

Al Bell a bit ay a prick, tho' his attitude wis understandable given the social upheaval at the time.


Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on October 15, 2014, 08:28:28 AM
I've been reading the new Who book by Mark Blake. It's astonishing that they lasted 5 minutes given the amount of aggro and tension that was present.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on October 15, 2014, 03:57:52 PM
I've been reading the new Who book by Mark Blake. It's astonishing that they lasted 5 minutes given the amount of aggro and tension that was present.

Be interested in hearing a bit more about this Stax. Weary of reading yet another Who book unless it's gonna offer something a bit different.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on October 15, 2014, 05:12:50 PM
Just finished Greg Kot's new book, I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples, The Staple Singers and the March Up Freedom's Highway. So nice for the Staples to finally have book dedicated to them. Long overdue. If there's one person in the world I'd like to give a big hug to, it's Mavis Staples...

Also, by way of something completely different, A Rage In Harlem by Chester Himes (1957). Oh man, I hadn't expected this to be so funny. Yeah, it's a bit violent but just the way it's written (like Himes was taking the piss) had me cracking up. If you're looking for junkies, thieves and whores, get on it.

I'm on it, Monkey!  Just ordered a copy this minute
Been reading A Rage In Harlem. Only about forty pages in and it's shaping up nicely.  I've been reading it on my break in the work's canteen and I've burst out laughing a couple of times which has resulted in some odd looks from folk although I'm not sure if it's my laughing that's the cause of these looks or that they're baffled that I'm sat reading a book printed on that old fashioned paper instead of updating my facebook status on a smart phone (as everyone else is doing around me).
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on October 16, 2014, 04:49:49 PM
I've been reading the new Who book by Mark Blake. It's astonishing that they lasted 5 minutes given the amount of aggro and tension that was present.

Be interested in hearing a bit more about this Stax. Weary of reading yet another Who book unless it's gonna offer something a bit different.

I suppose it's selling point is that it isn't the standard career overview, so that makes it a refreshing change. However, i'm two thirds or thereabouts in and it's only up to the point of releasing A Quick One, so the remaining years might be rushed through. There's quite a bit on Lambert and Stamp which i found interesting. A lot of the contributors in the book seem to be less well known than who you get in other books, so that's another plus. A lot of facts in there were quite new to me too. For instance, Pete Meadon wasn't the (sorry) 'ace face' we've been led to believe. Overall, i'd say it was a worthwhile read.
An extra plus point for me is that the author doesn't really bother trying to explain mod and just sticks to a few standard facts.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on October 16, 2014, 05:31:36 PM
Cheers Stax, appreciate that. Sounds ideal.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on November 04, 2014, 09:21:16 AM
The L-Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks.  I managed to get hold of an early 60s hard backed copy with dust jacket and it has that appealing old book smell which seems to add to its atmosphere more than a Kindle edition of it ever could.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on November 07, 2014, 10:57:45 AM
Just finishing the second part of Danny Baker's autobiography - "Going off Alarming". A great title and well recommended, if he's your cup of tea.

Starting "Adrift in Soho" by Colin Wilson.

Still working my way through Sawdust Caesers by Tony Beesley.

Also still enjoying the "Felix the Fox" posts.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on November 07, 2014, 12:49:07 PM
I've started reading a book called West End Girls by Barbara Tate, who was a 'maid' to a prostitute in 40's Soho. Quite eye-opening so far, especially the 72 punters in one day that was has been mentioned.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on November 07, 2014, 11:50:49 PM
Comin towards the end ay "The Free" by Willy Vlautin.  Really enjoyin' it like ah huv done wi' aw his books.

He's a 21st century Steinbeck.


Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on December 06, 2014, 09:17:55 AM
Just finishing the second part of Danny Baker's autobiography - "Going off Alarming". A great title and well recommended, if he's your cup of tea.

Starting "Adrift in Soho" by Colin Wilson.

Still working my way through Sawdust Caesers by Tony Beesley.

Also still enjoying the "Felix the Fox" posts.
How are you getting on with Adrift In Soho, Bill?  I've read it but can't remember much about it; it was my third favourite of the beats, bums & bohemians trilogy but I am intrigued by the upcoming film of it.
I've also been keeping up with the Felix The Fox posts and have enjoyed them.  I particularly like the different first person voices.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on December 06, 2014, 01:06:56 PM
Just finishing the second part of Danny Baker's autobiography - "Going off Alarming". A great title and well recommended, if he's your cup of tea.

Starting "Adrift in Soho" by Colin Wilson.

Still working my way through Sawdust Caesers by Tony Beesley.

Also still enjoying the "Felix the Fox" posts.
How are you getting on with Adrift In Soho, Bill?  I've read it but can't remember much about it; it was my third favourite of the beats, bums & bohemians trilogy but I am intrigued by the upcoming film of it.
I've also been keeping up with the Felix The Fox posts and have enjoyed them.  I particularly like the different first person voices.

I tore through "Adrift in Soho", Ady. I quite enjoyed it, although it seemed a bit "schizophrenic" in it's storyline - like you, I'm not sure how this will work on screen. It's the one that begins with him feeling frustrated labouring in the Midlands (quite Sillitoe / James Curtis - like), then moving to London and meeting a few eccentric freeloaders around Soho. The story really diverts when he moves into a squat type of set up in Notting Hill. All free love, communal food and puff. I thought this really gave a good account of the early hippy fraternity - all larger than life - but believable at the same time. In fact, all the characters are a bit selfish and sharp elbowed - but quite likeable.

...unlike Felix! Well, mostly - I too am still enjoying hating and liking the self-regarding git.


This week I got hold of "Push - the best of the first 10 issues". Recommended by Monkey, it's a compilation of pieces from "Push" - a London literary fanzine.Great to dip in and out of - I think you'd like it (and nice nods to Kersh, Sillitoe, Curtis in John King's intro). I'll leave it to Monkey to say more:

http://monkey-picks.blogspot.co.uk/2014_11_01_archive.html

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on December 07, 2014, 07:42:57 AM
Just finishing the second part of Danny Baker's autobiography - "Going off Alarming". A great title and well recommended, if he's your cup of tea.

Starting "Adrift in Soho" by Colin Wilson.

Still working my way through Sawdust Caesers by Tony Beesley.

Also still enjoying the "Felix the Fox" posts.
How are you getting on with Adrift In Soho, Bill?  I've read it but can't remember much about it; it was my third favourite of the beats, bums & bohemians trilogy but I am intrigued by the upcoming film of it.
I've also been keeping up with the Felix The Fox posts and have enjoyed them.  I particularly like the different first person voices.

I tore through "Adrift in Soho", Ady. I quite enjoyed it, although it seemed a bit "schizophrenic" in it's storyline - like you, I'm not sure how this will work on screen. It's the one that begins with him feeling frustrated labouring in the Midlands (quite Sillitoe / James Curtis - like), then moving to London and meeting a few eccentric freeloaders around Soho. The story really diverts when he moves into a squat type of set up in Notting Hill. All free love, communal food and puff. I thought this really gave a good account of the early hippy fraternity - all larger than life - but believable at the same time. In fact, all the characters are a bit selfish and sharp elbowed - but quite likeable.

...unlike Felix! Well, mostly - I too am still enjoying hating and liking the self-regarding git.


This week I got hold of "Push - the best of the first 10 issues". Recommended by Monkey, it's a compilation of pieces from "Push" - a London literary fanzine.Great to dip in and out of - I think you'd like it (and nice nods to Kersh, Sillitoe, Curtis in John King's intro). I'll leave it to Monkey to say more:

http://monkey-picks.blogspot.co.uk/2014_11_01_archive.html

Ah, I remember that book now.  As for Push I've got about four issues of it, all of which I have enjoyed, and so I ordered a copy of the book which I saw reviewed on Monkey's blog.  There's one issue where we found out Monkey's middle name as he is interviewed whilst DJing...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on December 08, 2014, 04:53:04 PM
Ah, I remember that book now.  As for Push I've got about four issues of it, all of which I have enjoyed, and so I ordered a copy of the book which I saw reviewed on Monkey's blog.  There's one issue where we found out Monkey's middle name as he is interviewed whilst DJing...

Did we?  :o 

Went to the launch do for the book on Saturday. Was good fun. There were readings from about five or six contributors. Not sure these things always work as writing in private and reading in public are two very distinct attributes but if you ever get a chance to see Dickson Telfer read - do. Seen him twice and he's a real performer and his stuff is very funny. Came down from Falkirk especially bless him. Has a new book out - Refrigerator Cake - which I keep meaning to get hold of.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on December 08, 2014, 05:38:17 PM
I've just started the Twenty Thousand Streets under the Sky trilogy. Not got too far in yet but impressed so far.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on December 08, 2014, 09:36:13 PM
Ah, I remember that book now.  As for Push I've got about four issues of it, all of which I have enjoyed, and so I ordered a copy of the book which I saw reviewed on Monkey's blog.  There's one issue where we found out Monkey's middle name as he is interviewed whilst DJing...

Did we?  :o 

Went to the launch do for the book on Saturday. Was good fun. There were readings from about five or six contributors. Not sure these things always work as writing in private and reading in public are two very distinct attributes but if you ever get a chance to see Dickson Telfer read - do. Seen him twice and he's a real performer and his stuff is very funny. Came down from Falkirk especially bless him. Has a new book out - Refrigerator Cake - which I keep meaning to get hold of.
Ha ha, It was in issue 11 (Integrity; that's my middle name!)  Noticed it when I was flicking through my back issues the other day.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on December 10, 2014, 11:01:10 PM
^Ahhh, nicely done (my midde name would be "slow")!


Stax, you're in for a treat with "20,000 streets". Definitely in my all time top 5 - and I find it more enjoyable than Hangover Square (a bigger commitment, obviously). I'm due a re-read.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on December 11, 2014, 08:19:27 AM
I'm really enjoying it, the style of writing is so descriptive it is like being there. Even down to how he describes the Governor unbolting the doors at opening time.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on December 11, 2014, 10:19:18 PM
I'm really enjoying it, the style of writing is so descriptive it is like being there. Even down to how he describes the Governor unbolting the doors at opening time.

Yes! That was one of the first evocative passages that jumped out (and stayed) with me. My old man said the same thing when he read it, about 40 years before I did. Great how he accommodates his girth!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on December 13, 2014, 09:42:48 AM
I'm really enjoying it, the style of writing is so descriptive it is like being there. Even down to how he describes the Governor unbolting the doors at opening time.

Yes! That was one of the first evocative passages that jumped out (and stayed) with me. My old man said the same thing when he read it, about 40 years before I did. Great how he accommodates his girth!
An excellent trilogy with very vivid descriptive writing.  I was thinking about it the other day when I was in my local and the barman was tending to the coal fire as that's one of Bob's jobs (if memory serves me correctly).
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on December 13, 2014, 02:35:00 PM
Ah, I remember that book now.  As for Push I've got about four issues of it, all of which I have enjoyed, and so I ordered a copy of the book which I saw reviewed on Monkey's blog.  There's one issue where we found out Monkey's middle name as he is interviewed whilst DJing...

Did we?  :o 

Went to the launch do for the book on Saturday. Was good fun. There were readings from about five or six contributors. Not sure these things always work as writing in private and reading in public are two very distinct attributes but if you ever get a chance to see Dickson Telfer read - do. Seen him twice and he's a real performer and his stuff is very funny. Came down from Falkirk especially bless him. Has a new book out - Refrigerator Cake - which I keep meaning to get hold of.


Everybody fae Falkirk is funny (lookin').


Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on January 01, 2015, 09:06:58 PM
Started that "Pretend You're In a War" yesterday.

Apparently Daltrey spent some ay his formative years jist ootside Stranraer!


Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 06, 2015, 05:30:18 PM
A few things on the go at the moment:
"Bring On The Empty Horses" - David Niven.  Fantastically entertaining recollection of the golden age of Hollywood written by a natural raconteur and bon viveur; they don't make stars like David anymore.
"Offbeat" - edited by Julian Upton, a collection of reviews and essays on long forgotten British films from the 50s to the early 80s.  I've seen quite a few of these films and have been buying up the ones I haven't from the excellent My Rare Films website.
"Push - best of the first 10 issues".  It was Monkey's blog which put me onto this literary fanzine but as I haven't bought every copy this collection has allowed me to catch up; bit of a fan of Joseph Ridgewell's poems.
The Viz annual  :)

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: neatneatneat on January 07, 2015, 02:55:20 PM
Just received the Georgie Fame book "There's nothing else to do" by Uli Twelker.

It has had good reviews & looks like an extensive tome.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Adam on January 07, 2015, 03:05:15 PM
^Ahhh, nicely done (my midde name would be "slow")!


Stax, you're in for a treat with "20,000 streets". Definitely in my all time top 5 - and I find it more enjoyable than Hangover Square (a bigger commitment, obviously). I'm due a re-read.

If you haven't read it already then " Of love and Hunger" by Julian Maclaren-Ross should be on the list.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 07, 2015, 04:20:55 PM
^Ahhh, nicely done (my midde name would be "slow")!


Stax, you're in for a treat with "20,000 streets". Definitely in my all time top 5 - and I find it more enjoyable than Hangover Square (a bigger commitment, obviously). I'm due a re-read.

If you haven't read it already then " Of love and Hunger" by Julian Maclaren-Ross should be on the list.
Excellent book and one that Soulstar recommended to me.  It was recently serialised on Radio 4 Extra but edited as it omitted when the narrator was recollecting the time he caught the clap in the Far East (that is the same book, isn't it?)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 07, 2015, 04:52:43 PM
Just received the Georgie Fame book "There's nothing else to do" by Uli Twelker.

It has had good reviews & looks like an extensive tome.

Thanks for the heads up, I had no idea a book about G. Fame was out. I've seen it in Amazon, but there appears mentioned as sheet music  :o. Is it a proper biography or just sheet music?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Adam on January 07, 2015, 05:05:31 PM
^Ahhh, nicely done (my midde name would be "slow")!


Stax, you're in for a treat with "20,000 streets". Definitely in my all time top 5 - and I find it more enjoyable than Hangover Square (a bigger commitment, obviously). I'm due a re-read.


If you haven't read it already then " Of love and Hunger" by Julian Maclaren-Ross should be on the list.
Excellent book and one that Soulstar recommended to me.  It was recently serialised on Radio 4 Extra but edited as it omitted when the narrator was recollecting the time he caught the clap in the Far East (that is the same book, isn't it?)

Been a while since I read it. I thought it was about vacuum salesmen/crap money and depressing sea side towns (that should get everyone interested  :o)  It was serialized I think but can't remember far east clap. My memory is not what it once was though.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: neatneatneat on January 09, 2015, 10:41:04 AM
Hi Greenstreet

The book on Amazon is the correct one (with the cartoon face). Not sure why it is described as sheet music.

NNN
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 09, 2015, 10:59:51 AM
Thanks, pal. I've pulled the trigger on this, it was about time GF was the subject of a proper biography, the man has been severely underrated and only revered in mod circles to this day.

Seems that while documenting his book Uli Twelker was in touch with the author of Bathed in lightning, the 60s biography of John McLaughlin. If the attention to detail matches that of Bathed in lightning I think we're in for a great reading not only about Fame but about Soho in the 60s and of course mods.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on January 18, 2015, 12:06:58 PM
Just finished 'Devil May Care', the Bond novel written by Sebastien Faulks (writing as Ian Fleming). Having read a few of Fleming's novels, I think Faulks has got the writing down pat. The storyline follows the familiar Bond pattern, but is a decent caper nonetheless, and there are a few nice period details (set in late 60s). If you're a fan of Bond, it's worth a read
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Neil Lee on January 18, 2015, 12:29:23 PM
Just finished 'Devil May Care', the Bond novel written by Sebastien Faulks (writing as Ian Fleming). Having read a few of Fleming's novels, I think Faulks has got the writing down pat. The storyline follows the familiar Bond pattern, but is a decent caper nonetheless, and there are a few nice period details (set in late 60s). If you're a fan of Bond, it's worth a read

Read it a few years ago and enjoyed it. Felt like reading a Flemming as you say.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on January 18, 2015, 12:50:12 PM
Just finished 'Devil May Care', the Bond novel written by Sebastien Faulks (writing as Ian Fleming). Having read a few of Fleming's novels, I think Faulks has got the writing down pat. The storyline follows the familiar Bond pattern, but is a decent caper nonetheless, and there are a few nice period details (set in late 60s). If you're a fan of Bond, it's worth a read

Read it a few years ago and enjoyed it. Felt like reading a Flemming as you say.

Seems to have been a one-off, Neil, which is a shame
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Neil Lee on January 18, 2015, 01:11:36 PM
Just finished 'Devil May Care', the Bond novel written by Sebastien Faulks (writing as Ian Fleming). Having read a few of Fleming's novels, I think Faulks has got the writing down pat. The storyline follows the familiar Bond pattern, but is a decent caper nonetheless, and there are a few nice period details (set in late 60s). If you're a fan of Bond, it's worth a read

Read it a few years ago and enjoyed it. Felt like reading a Flemming as you say.

Seems to have been a one-off, Neil, which is a shame

I thought he was doing another.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on January 18, 2015, 04:24:25 PM
Just finished 'Devil May Care', the Bond novel written by Sebastien Faulks (writing as Ian Fleming). Having read a few of Fleming's novels, I think Faulks has got the writing down pat. The storyline follows the familiar Bond pattern, but is a decent caper nonetheless, and there are a few nice period details (set in late 60s). If you're a fan of Bond, it's worth a read

Read it a few years ago and enjoyed it. Felt like reading a Flemming as you say.

Seems to have been a one-off, Neil, which is a shame

I thought he was doing another.

Seems not, mate  http://www.sebastianfaulks.com/index.php/bond/ (http://www.sebastianfaulks.com/index.php/bond/)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Neil Lee on January 18, 2015, 04:28:42 PM
Just finished 'Devil May Care', the Bond novel written by Sebastien Faulks (writing as Ian Fleming). Having read a few of Fleming's novels, I think Faulks has got the writing down pat. The storyline follows the familiar Bond pattern, but is a decent caper nonetheless, and there are a few nice period details (set in late 60s). If you're a fan of Bond, it's worth a read

Read it a few years ago and enjoyed it. Felt like reading a Flemming as you say.

Seems to have been a one-off, Neil, which is a shame

I thought he was doing another.

Seems not, mate  http://www.sebastianfaulks.com/index.php/bond/ (http://www.sebastianfaulks.com/index.php/bond/)

Shame.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: mr_duderino on January 27, 2015, 12:05:54 AM
I read all the flemings some years ago, as well as some of the others and Faulks mananged to not only write like fleming, but possibly fleming at his best
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Martin G on January 29, 2015, 01:16:29 PM
Just finished PRETEND YOUR IN A WAR the oveview of The Who in the 1960s. Pretty good read so worth looking out for as a few guys here have mentioned. Just starting SOUND MAN by Glyn Johns the engineer who worked with everyone from The Fabs through to the Small Faces, Led Zep and The Stones. Good read so far.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 29, 2015, 05:24:49 PM
Bitten By The Tarantula by Julian Maclaren - Ross, both in English and I've also got the Spanish translation to improve my language skills.  Ross's style was clipped and economical so I can grasp it in Spanish better than, say, a translation of Gerald Kersh and his wonderful purple prose.  The English edition also has loads and loads of short fiction, reviews and essays; a very prolific writer.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 30, 2015, 10:22:26 AM
Ánimo desde España, Ady! Hope you're lucky with the translation, I'm tired of poor translations to spanish that ruin the reading. I'm going the inverse route: lots of books in english, ie Adrift in Soho, that I finished recently (now immersed in the Georgie Fame bio).
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 30, 2015, 02:05:42 PM
Ánimo desde España, Ady! Hope you're lucky with the translation, I'm tired of poor translations to spanish that ruin the reading. I'm going the inverse route: lots of books in english, ie Adrift in Soho, that I finished recently (now immersed in the Georgie Fame bio).
Gracias, tío.  It's a good translation.  The chapters are only a couple of pages long and so I can do it in short stints (reading aloud to myself as well).  Much of it is dialogue so this helps with conversational Spanish as well.
What did you think to Adrift In Soho?  I've read it but honestly can't remember much about it.  Mine is from the bums, beats & bohemians series and this title is my third favourite of the set.  Upcoming film adaptation looks interesting, though...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 30, 2015, 05:47:05 PM
Mmm, it's OK, but not the best in the "bohemians-in-Soho" series. It must be a first novel, I think Colin Wilson tries to pack too many things in just one book and it feels naive now and then. More to my taste were Absolute beginners or Baron Courts. That said, it's a good picture of London bohemia pre-mods.

Anyway, my favourite books about London in the late 50s-early 60s are The dud avocado and The old man and me by Elaine Dundy (I read them in two good translations  :) ); a close second -or third- would be The low life (another fine translation). They're at once funny and poignant, as the good novels should be. 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on January 31, 2015, 06:46:28 AM
I thought Adrift in Soho was the best of the B, B & B set. Not sure if ghe film will be a good idea though. I was quite disappointed with Barons Court ... though. I might have been expecting too much, so i should really have another read of it.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 31, 2015, 09:18:49 AM
Mmm, it's OK, but not the best in the "bohemians-in-Soho" series. It must be a first novel, I think Colin Wilson tries to pack too many things in just one book and it feels naive now and then. More to my taste were Absolute beginners or Baron Courts. That said, it's a good picture of London bohemia pre-mods.

Anyway, my favourite books about London in the late 50s-early 60s are The dud avocado and The old man and me by Elaine Dundy (I read them in two good translations  :) ); a close second -or third- would be The low life (another fine translation). They're at once funny and poignant, as the good novels should be.
The Lowlife is excellent but my favourite novel of Alexander Baron's is King Dido which is just brilliant.  Set between 1911 and 1915 in London it basically tells the story on how one man's pride becomes his downfall.  I very much enjoyed Baron's Court but I'm not a big fan of Absolute Beginners - perhaps I should re-read it.  I can recommend The Lonely Londoners by Sam Shelvon which tells the stories of West Indies immigrants and is set in the 50s.
I'll be honest and say that I'd not heard of the Elaine Dundy novels and so I've just ordered The Dud Avocado, a 1960 hardback copy too.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 31, 2015, 07:38:09 PM
You won't regret it, the book looks like light comedy at first but soon it digs deeper and finds the perfect balance between melancholy and joie de vivre. It's a book to savour, full of Little wonderful nuances. If you enjoy it, try The old man and me, it's even better. As a cool bonus, in one of the two books (I don't recall which one) there's a part for a thinly disguised Miles Davis.

The novels you mention -King Dido and The lonely londoners- are on my list for quite a while. I was waiting for someone to publish them in spanish, but the publishing market here is really small, so I'll have to get them in english.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on February 08, 2015, 03:36:55 PM
Maybe I should open another thread but it's just one question: has someone read a novel by a Danny Miller set in 1964 Brighton? & Would you recommend it? There is a spanish translation for Kindle and I would like to pull the trigger, but not sure...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on February 08, 2015, 04:30:09 PM
Maybe I should open another thread but it's just one question: has someone read a novel by a Danny Miller set in 1964 Brighton? & Would you recommend it? There is a spanish translation for Kindle and I would like to pull the trigger, but not sure...

Not read it, gs, but, on the basis of the write up and the bulk of the reviews, I'm inclined to buy it myself!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ian_B on February 08, 2015, 05:53:03 PM
Maybe I should open another thread but it's just one question: has someone read a novel by a Danny Miller set in 1964 Brighton? & Would you recommend it? There is a spanish translation for Kindle and I would like to pull the trigger, but not sure...

Kiss Me Quick ?? Just received a copy - I'll let you know when I've read it

Ian B
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on February 08, 2015, 06:03:59 PM
Thanks, lads, truth is the reviews I've seen so far are good. I guess the mods & rockers skirmishes are used just as a background but I'm curious as to how mr. Miller recreates the era. Think I'll give it a try.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on February 12, 2015, 10:22:41 PM
I've missed this thread for a while - didn't want to get tempted away from the pile I'm working through.

Ady and Green Street, your reading beyond "first language" is humbling - hats off chaps!

I hadn't heard of either the Dud Avocado or Kiss Me Quick. They've gone on the list.

Recently for me:
Suggs autobiography; "That close". I'm not a big Madness fan but I like him as a fella and I really liked his London book - "Suggs in the city".  Anyway, this was really disappointing - a few anecdotes but you didn't really get a feel for what makes the man tick.

The Examined Life - Stephen Grosz. A psychotherapist's brief accounts of sessions with patients. Excellent and you definitely don't need to be "in the trade" to enjoy it.

Currently reading "Doctor of the lost" by Simon Blumenfeld and the new SubbaCulture zine.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ian_B on February 13, 2015, 01:22:24 PM
Just started "Kiss me Quick" by Danny Miller - enjoying it so far ... kinda Peter James meets Jake Arnott ;)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on February 13, 2015, 01:59:23 PM
It was already discharged on my kindle and I was going to begin with it, but my missus has grabbed the bloody machine to read an Augustus Caesar biography, 600 pages lenght!! (and BTW pretty interesting) :-\

That's the problem of greedy publishers not allowing the lending of e-book archives  >:( Well, meanwhile I'll finish the G Fame biography and a stunning new book of the famed Francis Wolff photographs for blue note.

Cheers, Soulstar, hope you enjoy The Dud Avocado.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Simon Bond on February 14, 2015, 12:50:16 AM
Just started "Kiss me Quick" by Danny Miller - enjoying it so far ... kinda Peter James meets Jake Arnott ;)

Sounds good , tho' , for me , you can't beat a good Bernie Gunther tale. .
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on February 14, 2015, 09:31:18 AM
I've missed this thread for a while - didn't want to get tempted away from the pile I'm working through.

Ady and Green Street, your reading beyond "first language" is humbling - hats off chaps!

I hadn't heard of either the Dud Avocado or Kiss Me Quick. They've gone on the list.

Recently for me:
Suggs autobiography; "That close". I'm not a big Madness fan but I like him as a fella and I really liked his London book - "Suggs in the city".  Anyway, this was really disappointing - a few anecdotes but you didn't really get a feel for what makes the man tick.

The Examined Life - Stephen Grosz. A psychotherapist's brief accounts of sessions with patients. Excellent and you definitely don't need to be "in the trade" to enjoy it.

Currently reading "Doctor of the lost" by Simon Blumenfeld and the new SubbaCulture zine.

I'm about half way through The Dud Avocado and very much enjoying it; as Greenstreet mentioned, it has a lightness joie de vivre coloured with a melancholic undertow.  Set in early 60s Paris I've been imagining the Parisian Minets as featured in the new issue of Subbaculture peacocking about the streets and cafés.

Doctor Of The Lost is an excellent book, Bill, and I enjoyed more than I thought I would.  London Classics are publishing Arthur La Bern's It Always Rains On Sunday on 25th May, which I'm looking forward too.  Now only if they'd publish James Curtis' You're In The Racket Too...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on February 14, 2015, 08:31:19 PM
Glad you're enjoying it Ady, try The Old Man and Me, it's even better.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on February 15, 2015, 08:31:10 AM
Glad you're enjoying it Ady, try The Old Man and Me, it's even better.
Thanks for the recommendation.  Just ordered a copy.  Should be good as it's set in 1960s London's smoky jazz clubs.  Nice.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on February 15, 2015, 11:45:36 AM
I think it's the one in which Miles Davis does a thinly disguised cameo. Very cool stuff.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on February 15, 2015, 12:13:39 PM
I've just added that to the mountain too. Cheers GS - some fine recommendations coming through.
On the smoky clubs, jazz, sex, profumo era tip, I've recently recommended "London Blues" by Anthony Frewin to Suave C Jason. Not the best or worst book but cheap to pick up.

Simon - I've heard of the Bernie Gunther novels - but not being a big detective mystery fan, I've never ventured in. Would you recommend one to start with?

Ady, I'd forgotten the "Racket" novel - can't keep up with your voracious appetite! By the time I get around to it maybe London Books would have put it out (that would be their fourth James Curtis, so perhaps not any-time sooon).

There's some great parts in Doctor of the Lost. I like how he contrasts the privileged and the destitute (and the death of an urchin will always bring a tear to a glass eye). I hit this passage last night - a cad of a fellow leaving his club on Jermyn Street. I think it's great:

“He collected his hat, coat and gloves, and twirling his gold –mounted cane thoughtfully before him, passed through the lounge into the narrow hall that led to the street. Automatically he drew a cigar from his pocket and thrust it between his lips, biting the end till the crisp leaves moistened by his saliva had the taste and texture of soaked cardboard. Descending five stone steps from the porch to the pavement, he looked around as though in search of a conveyance, then tilting his handsome head in the air, he brushed his moustache upwards with the knuckle of his hogskin glove, and turned towards a side street, his coat-tails spread like a frigate in full sail”.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on February 15, 2015, 12:39:25 PM
I've just added that to the mountain too. Cheers GS - some fine recommendations coming through.
On the smoky clubs, jazz, sex, profumo era tip, I've recently recommended "London Blues" by Anthony Frewin to Suave C Jason. Not the best or worst book but cheap to pick up.

Simon - I've heard of the Bernie Gunther novels - but not being a big detective mystery fan, I've never ventured in. Would you recommend one to start with?

Ady, I'd forgotten the "Racket" novel - can't keep up with your voracious appetite! By the time I get around to it maybe London Books would have put it out (that would be their fourth James Curtis, so perhaps not any-time sooon).

There's some great parts in Doctor of the Lost. I like how he contrasts the privileged and the destitute (and the death of an urchin will always bring a tear to a glass eye). I hit this passage last night - a cad of a fellow leaving his club on Jermyn Street. I think it's great:

“He collected his hat, coat and gloves, and twirling his gold –mounted cane thoughtfully before him, passed through the lounge into the narrow hall that led to the street. Automatically he drew a cigar from his pocket and thrust it between his lips, biting the end till the crisp leaves moistened by his saliva had the taste and texture of soaked cardboard. Descending five stone steps from the porch to the pavement, he looked around as though in search of a conveyance, then tilting his handsome head in the air, he brushed his moustache upwards with the knuckle of his hogskin glove, and turned towards a side street, his coat-tails spread like a frigate in full sail”.

That's a wonderfully descriptive passage, Bill; really evocative.  I'll search the London Blues book out but I can't find You're In The Racket Too.  Since its original publication in 1937 it's never been re-published in Britain and so copies are hard to come by.  I do keep searching through charity shops and the like hoping to strike lucky as this set is a little out of my price bracket...
[url][/http://www.peterharrington.co.uk/rare-books/literature-history/the-gilt-kid-there-aint-no-justice-youre-in-the-racket-too/url]

London Classics have reprinted some brilliant titles and I have most of them.  Checking their website for upcoming releases, It Always Rains On Sunday is the only one of the four listed that I don't have.  No doubt I'll buy the other three to complete the set.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on February 15, 2015, 06:38:04 PM


Simon - I've heard of the Bernie Gunther novels - but not being a big detective mystery fan, I've never ventured in. Would you recommend one to start with?

Pretty sure "March Violets" is the first yin.


Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Simon Bond on February 16, 2015, 10:16:15 AM


Simon - I've heard of the Bernie Gunther novels - but not being a big detective mystery fan, I've never ventured in. Would you recommend one to start with?

Pretty sure "March Violets" is the first yin.

Indeed . .

You can get his book , Berlin Noir , which has March Violets , Pale Criminal and A German Requiem . These are the first 3 books in the Bernie series and I would recommend them as an introduction to Bernie . .

Bernie has a great dry wit , a bit like Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars . .

The Bernie novels cover pre-war, during the war and then Bernie's adventures after the war . .

Here is the chronological order of the books . The number in brackets is the actual order the books appeared in. .

1934 If the Dead Rise Not (6)
1936 March Violets (1)
1938 The Pale Criminal (2)
1941 Prague Fatale ( 8 )
1943 A Man Without Breath (9)
1947 A German Requiem (3)
1949 The One From The Other (4)
1950 A Quiet Flame (5)
1954 Field Grey (7)


Another great book by Kerr , is Hitler's Peace . This one has nothing to do with Bernie but instead is a story based around some actual intriguing events that took place before and during the first meeting of the big three (Churchill , Roosevelt and Stalin) at Teheran . .

Here is the blurb ;  Autumn 1943. Since Stalingrad, Hitler has known that Germany cannot win the war. The upcoming Allied conference in Teheran will set the ground rules for their second front-and for the peace to come. Realizing that the unconditional surrender FDR has demanded will leave Germany in ruins, Hitler has put out peace feelers. (Unbeknownst to him, so has Himmler, who is ready to stage a coup in order to reach an accord.) FDR and Stalin are willing to negotiate. Only Churchill refuses to listen.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on February 16, 2015, 01:42:47 PM


Simon - I've heard of the Bernie Gunther novels - but not being a big detective mystery fan, I've never ventured in. Would you recommend one to start with?

Pretty sure "March Violets" is the first yin.

Indeed . .

You can get his book , Berlin Noir , which has March Violets , Pale Criminal and A German Requiem . These are the first 3 books in the Bernie series and I would recommend them as an introduction to Bernie . .

Bernie has a great dry wit , a bit like Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars . .

The Bernie novels cover pre-war, during the war and then Bernie's adventures after the war . .




Ah've read them up tae the yin when he moves tae Argentina.  (Sorry if that's a spoiler fur embdy).


Cannae mind how many books that is intae the series.


Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Simon Bond on February 16, 2015, 04:02:00 PM


Simon - I've heard of the Bernie Gunther novels - but not being a big detective mystery fan, I've never ventured in. Would you recommend one to start with?

Pretty sure "March Violets" is the first yin.

Indeed . .

You can get his book , Berlin Noir , which has March Violets , Pale Criminal and A German Requiem . These are the first 3 books in the Bernie series and I would recommend them as an introduction to Bernie . .

Bernie has a great dry wit , a bit like Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars . .

The Bernie novels cover pre-war, during the war and then Bernie's adventures after the war . .




Ah've read them up tae the yin when he moves tae Argentina.  (Sorry if that's a spoiler fur embdy).


Cannae mind how many books that is intae the series.


Bernie goes to Argentina , in the 5th book Kerr wrote , which chronologically , is the penultimate in the series . Ah huv nae read that one yet but l've read Field Grey which is the last tale in the series which just goes tae show that you don't huv tae read them in order. . 8)


Oh aye , the book in question is , A Quiet Flame. .
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: mr_duderino on February 17, 2015, 07:36:56 PM
Just finished Danny Baker's autobiography "Going to Sea in a Sieve". Some great no-nonsense opinions about some artists and their music. My heart normally sinks when a book ends "...but that's for volume 2" but I look forward to the sequel to this.
Great book that.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on February 21, 2015, 01:10:21 PM
Cheers Simon and the Laird - will have a look.

Ady - I' with you on the completest urge with the book sets - the only one I haven't got yet is Night & the City, because I have another edition; but I know I'll end up getting the LB edition too.

Mr D - Danny Baker's on the 2nd part of the autobiog now - "Going off alarming". Definitely as good  as - probably better than - the first.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: mr_duderino on February 22, 2015, 02:09:44 AM
Waiting for my old man to finish it so i can nick it off him...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on February 22, 2015, 02:09:25 PM
Just finished London Blues by Anthony Frewin.  It wasn't bad but it wasn't "the quintessential Soho book" as Loaded magazine would have us believe.  And some of it was just tedious - near the beginning when the author explicitly describes the blue movie was just pointless (sleaze just for the sake of it) and so was the description of the central character's flat.  I did find myself skim reading the last sixty or so pages just to get it finished.  And if the Tim character was such a jazz aficionado why didn't he go to the jazz clubs?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on February 22, 2015, 04:19:50 PM
Just finished London Blues by Anthony Frewin.  It wasn't bad but it wasn't "the quintessential Soho book" as Loaded magazine would have us believe.  And some of it was just tedious - near the beginning when the author explicitly describes the blue movie was just pointless (sleaze just for the sake of it) and so was the description of the central character's flat.  I did find myself skim reading the last sixty or so pages just to get it finished.  And if the Tim character was such a jazz aficionado why didn't he go to the jazz clubs?

In that case, Ady, I'm glad I only paid 2 quid for it!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on March 04, 2015, 09:37:48 AM
I've just finished Sick City by Tony O'Neill, a caper which drops you plumb into the festering underbelly of Los Angeles. It centres loosely around two hapless, hopeless junkies' attempts to sell a legendary porno tape and escape a Hollywood dream that has turned into a nightmare of hookers, pimps, hustlers, junkies and assorted other weirdos. It reads like something Elmore Leonard and Quentin Tarrantino might have come up with after a night on crystal meth, and I loved it! If you like your lit in the gutter, but shot through with black humour (he describes Amy Winehouse as like Ronnie Spector after she's been through a car wash), then give it a go. I'm actually just about to start another of his, Black Neon (thanks for the rec, Monkey!)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on March 04, 2015, 04:27:29 PM
I've just finished Sick City by Tony O'Neill, a caper which drops you plumb into the festering underbelly of Los Angeles. It centres loosely around two hapless, hopeless junkies' attempts to sell a legendary porno tape and escape a Hollywood dream that has turned into a nightmare of hookers, pimps, hustlers, junkies and assorted other weirdos. It reads like something Elmore Leonard and Quentin Tarrantino might have come up with after a night on crystal meth, and I loved it! If you like your lit in the gutter, but shot through with black humour (he describes Amy Winehouse as like Ronnie Spector after she's been through a car wash), then give it a go. I'm actually just about to start another of his, Black Neon (thanks for the rec, Monkey!)

Brilliant novel, Doctor (I recommended it to Soulstar a little while back) and I still feel a bit grubby a couple of years after reading it  ;) Funnily enough, I've ordered Black Neon and it should arrive any day now.  I didn't know it was out until I read of it on Monkey's Monthly Playlist and I'd forgotten all about that Billy Fury tune.  By the way sir, what do you think of Phil Collins' work?  I, for one, if asked have nothing but praise 'cos you never know who's enquiring... ;D
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on March 04, 2015, 10:42:01 PM
I've just finished Sick City by Tony O'Neill, a caper which drops you plumb into the festering underbelly of Los Angeles. It centres loosely around two hapless, hopeless junkies' attempts to sell a legendary porno tape and escape a Hollywood dream that has turned into a nightmare of hookers, pimps, hustlers, junkies and assorted other weirdos. It reads like something Elmore Leonard and Quentin Tarrantino might have come up with after a night on crystal meth, and I loved it! If you like your lit in the gutter, but shot through with black humour (he describes Amy Winehouse as like Ronnie Spector after she's been through a car wash), then give it a go. I'm actually just about to start another of his, Black Neon (thanks for the rec, Monkey!)

Brilliant novel, Doctor (I recommended it to Soulstar a little while back) and I still feel a bit grubby a couple of years after reading it  ;) Funnily enough, I've ordered Black Neon and it should arrive any day now.  I didn't know it was out until I read of it on Monkey's Monthly Playlist and I'd forgotten all about that Billy Fury tune.  By the way sir, what do you think of Phil Collins' work?  I, for one, if asked have nothing but praise 'cos you never know who's enquiring... ;D

Ha, yes, I felt like a bath after reading it!!

Collins? Haha, is this a wind-up??  ;D
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 19, 2015, 09:57:52 AM
The Old Man And Me by Elaine Dundy.  Good shout on this one, Greenstreet, and it is the one with a cameo of the Miles Davis type jazz musician (the man's elegant dark Negro face with its broad mouth and high cheekbones, its thin delicate bridge of a nose between flaring eyebrows.  Clothed from head to toe in Italian silk, he looked more New York American that anyone I'd ever seen.  His voice full of southern winds and midnight-blue New York nights).  I think you'd like this one, Soulstar:  it's devilishly witty, beautifully written and, I'd say, the best book I've read so far this year.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on April 19, 2015, 05:28:58 PM
Just started Moses Ascending by Samuel Selvon. Would it have been better to read The Lonely Londoners first?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on April 19, 2015, 05:45:28 PM
The Old Man And Me by Elaine Dundy.  Good shout on this one, Greenstreet, and it is the one with a cameo of the Miles Davis type jazz musician (the man's elegant dark Negro face with its broad mouth and high cheekbones, its thin delicate bridge of a nose between flaring eyebrows.  Clothed from head to toe in Italian silk, he looked more New York American that anyone I'd ever seen.  His voice full of southern winds and midnight-blue New York nights).  I think you'd like this one, Soulstar:  it's devilishly witty, beautifully written and, I'd say, the best book I've read so far this year.

Glad you enjoyed it, Ady  ;) Besides, I discovered it the way great novels should be found: a lazy afternoon browsing through the racks of a bookstore.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on May 09, 2015, 10:12:45 AM
Just started May Day by John Sommerfield in the London Books Classics series.  It's set in mid 30s London over the May Day holiday "as working class anger bubbles over in the East End and spills towards the West End" (to quote the blurb).
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on May 13, 2015, 10:40:33 AM
I've just pre-ordered this book. I seem to recall Dave gave the heads up in the MC page, other than that I have no reference about it, but it looks certainly interesting:

(http://i.imgur.com/p8Sqaeg.jpg)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Simon Bond on May 13, 2015, 06:41:11 PM
I've just pre-ordered this book. I seem to recall Dave gave the heads up in the MC page, other than that I have no reference about it, but it looks certainly interesting:

(http://i.imgur.com/p8Sqaeg.jpg)

I think you will enjoy that one , Sydney , in fact , I think it will be right up your street. .
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on May 14, 2015, 04:02:43 PM
Hope so!  ;)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on May 25, 2015, 10:08:45 AM
Recently:

Hit Me, Fred by Fred Wesley. Interesting autobiography. Not only does it reveal quite a lot about James Brown (not generally complimentary) but gives an insight into life as someone who works as a musician. Even for someone like Fred who's top of his field - the world ain't overburdened with funky trombonists, luckily for him - it's not the easiest way to make a living. For those lower down the chain it's pretty impossible.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The first half of this, dealing with his early life and hustling in Detroit and Boston is excellent. Doesn't hold back (as you'd expect) and largely steers clear of his later "the white man is the devil" stuff - which wasn't how he thought at that time. The second half dealing with the Nation of Islam and his more well known views are a the very least thought provoking. Don't entirely agree with him but he argues a decent case.

Detroit 67 by Stuart Cosgrove. This is mentioned on another string (or earlier in this one). Nearly finished the 600 pages which weave soul music, white revolutionaries and the political/sociological landscape of the city during one year. Bit hard going and repetitive in places but overall well put together and gives lots of little details unknown to me. Also like how he gives Berry Gordy much more credit than biographers and commentators usually afford him. Well worth reading.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Simon Bond on May 26, 2015, 12:16:17 AM
Recently:

Hit Me, Fred by Fred Wesley. Interesting autobiography. Not only does it reveal quite a lot about James Brown (not generally complimentary) but gives an insight into life as someone who works as a musician. Even for someone like Fred who's top of his field - the world ain't overburdened with funky trombonists, luckily for him - it's not the easiest way to make a living. For those lower down the chain it's pretty impossible.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The first half of this, dealing with his early life and hustling in Detroit and Boston is excellent. Doesn't hold back (as you'd expect) and largely steers clear of his later "the white man is the devil" stuff - which wasn't how he thought at that time. The second half dealing with the Nation of Islam and his more well known views are a the very least thought provoking. Don't entirely agree with him but he argues a decent case.

Detroit 67 by Stuart Cosgrove. This is mentioned on another string (or earlier in this one). Nearly finished the 600 pages which weave soul music, white revolutionaries and the political/sociological landscape of the city during one year. Bit hard going and repetitive in places but overall well put together and gives lots of little details unknown to me. Also like how he gives Berry Gordy much more credit than biographers and commentators usually afford him. Well worth reading.

I like Cosgrove and I always try to catch his radio show of a Saturday . I knew he was into Soul music because he has mentioned it before . Yeh there was a lot going on around the planet in 1967 and of course I'm always going to say that some of the best music was from that epoch . .
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on June 01, 2015, 04:24:29 PM
The Cosgrove book is a belter.

Ah mind ay him as a soul/funk journalist back in his NME days.

Apparently he's also writin' yin aboot Stax.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on June 02, 2015, 04:32:30 PM
That's nice of him. Probably more of a leaflet...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on June 21, 2015, 11:14:47 AM
It Always Rains On Sunday - Arthur LaBern.  The latest instalment in the "London Books Classics" series and very atmospheric it is too.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on June 22, 2015, 07:47:21 PM
I wonder if they'll bring back the book the Hitchcock film Frenzy was based on.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on July 28, 2015, 04:23:32 PM
I've just pre-ordered this, tho' it won't appear till next fall:

(http://i.imgur.com/7GjUreIl.jpg)

Looks promising, coming from the publishers of jewels like Unseen McQueen , Michael Caine in the 60s or Hollywood ad the Ivy Look. BTW, if you pre-order directly to the publishers (Real Art Press) there's a 20 % discount code: 1960S.

I didn't know that guy, David Hurn, seems he was a Magnum agency photographer.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: neatneatneat on July 29, 2015, 11:55:31 AM
Sick On You by Andrew Matheson. It's not mod but if you like real bands it's the storey of The Hollywood Brats who where just too early for punk. A great humorous insight into the bleak early seventies.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on July 29, 2015, 03:25:48 PM
Weren't the Hollywood Brats an earlier encarnation of The Boys?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on July 29, 2015, 03:32:43 PM
Nearly pulled the trigger on this Spanish book mentioned on the Modculture website but the shipping price pushes it up to £33; a bit too expensive.  Shame.
http://www.modculture.co.uk/new-book-mods-guia-para-una-vida-guide-for-smart-life-by-dani-llabres/ (http://www.modculture.co.uk/new-book-mods-guia-para-una-vida-guide-for-smart-life-by-dani-llabres/)

Currently reading On Her Majesty's Secret Service which has always been my favourite Bond novel.  Must have had my paperback copy for longer than I care to remember.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on July 29, 2015, 05:15:53 PM
I'll look for it when I return from my holidays and give a thumbs up here if I think it's worthy. Sadly, earlier mod-themed books from spanish enthusiasts have deceived me: labours of love every one of them, no doubt, but marred by poor writing & editing, second hand or inaccurate info, boring or naive points of view, thousand-times-seen pics... The author, Dani Llabrés, has lived in Valencia, but being 6 years younger than me I doubt I've met him in person.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on July 29, 2015, 07:56:41 PM
I've just read The Girl in the Train. Didn't really think much of it to be honest, certainly didn't live up to the reviews.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Adam on July 30, 2015, 04:09:09 PM
"Go set a Watchman"  Harper Lee.   Looks very promising so far.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on August 16, 2015, 07:50:20 PM
Today I've started Bob Stanley's Yeah Yeah Yeah - The Story of Modern Pop. At 800 pages it's gonna keep me quiet for weeks. Already learnt loads.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on August 18, 2015, 04:48:36 PM
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman.


It's peculiar.



Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Simon Bond on August 18, 2015, 06:06:41 PM
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman.


It's peculiar.

Sounds like the story of a wee Mod that I know. .
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on August 24, 2015, 06:54:07 PM
Just finished the two Richard Allen books recently republished, "Skinhead" and "Suedehead".  I first knew of these from the sleeve of TSC's Our Favourite Shop and I was fascinated by them and many of the other books on that sleeve and so I was quite looking forward to them.  They are poorly written, vicious, nasty, lowest common denominator exploitation pulp (and that's being generous).  I can't think of any redeeming features and the attitude towards women in these books is especially unsettling.  If anyone wants them then PM me and you can have them otherwise they are off in the bin.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: lammyrider on August 24, 2015, 07:02:24 PM
Read some of them back in the early eighties, mod rule etc that sums them up as i remember
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Simon Bond on August 24, 2015, 08:29:47 PM
Just finished the two Richard Allen books recently republished, "Skinhead" and "Suedehead".  I first knew of these from the sleeve of TSC's Our Favourite Shop and I was fascinated by them and many of the other books on that sleeve and so I was quite looking forward to them.  They are poorly written, vicious, nasty, lowest common denominator exploitation pulp (and that's being generous).  I can't think of any redeeming features and the attitude towards women in these books is especially unsettling.  If anyone wants them then PM me and you can have them otherwise they are off in the bin.

To be fair , sounds pretty much like a description of the book Sawdust Caesars by Howard Baker. .
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: lammyrider on August 24, 2015, 08:38:56 PM
Sacked off im the face and ploughing through bernard cornwells death of kings, not mod but a far better holiday read  ;) viking vs saxon blood and guts, excellent stuff and gripping from the first few pages
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on August 24, 2015, 08:57:47 PM
I've started a book called 'Popcorn- fifty years of rock n roll movies' by Garry Mulholland. Quite entertaining so far.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on August 25, 2015, 07:46:24 PM
I'm re-reading 'Power of the Dog' by Don Winslow in preparation for getting my hands on the sequel 'The Cartel' once my missus has finished it. POTD is an epic spanning 30 years of America's war on drugs and focuses on the relationship between a DEA agent and the cartel boss he's determined to bring down. If you dig crime fiction, you really need to read this book. Don't take my word for it, here's what James Ellroy says "The first great dope novel since Dog Soldiers thirty years ago. It's frightening and sad, with a superbly sustained intensity. A beautifully compressed vision of hell"
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on August 26, 2015, 06:37:17 PM
I'm re-reading 'Power of the Dog' by Don Winslow in preparation for getting my hands on the sequel 'The Cartel' once my missus has finished it. POTD is an epic spanning 30 years of America's war on drugs and focuses on the relationship between a DEA agent and the cartel boss he's determined to bring down. If you dig crime fiction, you really need to read this book. Don't take my word for it, here's what James Ellroy says "The first great dope novel since Dog Soldiers thirty years ago. It's frightening and sad, with a superbly sustained intensity. A beautifully compressed vision of hell"

Read this one earlier in the summer; it is a sprawling epic and I did find the political angle of America's 'war on drugs' insightful.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on August 26, 2015, 07:03:37 PM
I'm re-reading 'Power of the Dog' by Don Winslow in preparation for getting my hands on the sequel 'The Cartel' once my missus has finished it. POTD is an epic spanning 30 years of America's war on drugs and focuses on the relationship between a DEA agent and the cartel boss he's determined to bring down. If you dig crime fiction, you really need to read this book. Don't take my word for it, here's what James Ellroy says "The first great dope novel since Dog Soldiers thirty years ago. It's frightening and sad, with a superbly sustained intensity. A beautifully compressed vision of hell"

Read this one earlier in the summer; it is a sprawling epic and I did find the political angle of America's 'war on drugs' insightful.

One of my favourite reads of recent years, Ady. Have you read 'The Winter of Frankie Machine' by the same author? Another great crime novel about a retired Mafia hitman. Well worth grabbing a copy if you haven't
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on August 26, 2015, 08:07:33 PM
Maybe the main discovery of my french holidays has been this book, that I bought in a huge Bordeaux bookstore. I can't speak proper french but I learned that the pics herein are the work of a press photographer that shot for french magazines and journals in the 60s, and kept his archives unpublished during 50 years. The book loses steam when it deals with french popstars of the day, but it treasures great pics of the british pop royalty of the age and it's worth every penny I paid for it. As an instance, this pic of Pete Townshend at his elf-est.

(http://i.imgur.com/nYwOvzrl.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/R8NfxtQl.jpg)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on August 26, 2015, 08:29:06 PM
I'm re-reading 'Power of the Dog' by Don Winslow in preparation for getting my hands on the sequel 'The Cartel' once my missus has finished it. POTD is an epic spanning 30 years of America's war on drugs and focuses on the relationship between a DEA agent and the cartel boss he's determined to bring down. If you dig crime fiction, you really need to read this book. Don't take my word for it, here's what James Ellroy says "The first great dope novel since Dog Soldiers thirty years ago. It's frightening and sad, with a superbly sustained intensity. A beautifully compressed vision of hell"

Read this one earlier in the summer; it is a sprawling epic and I did find the political angle of America's 'war on drugs' insightful.

One of my favourite reads of recent years, Ady. Have you read 'The Winter of Frankie Machine' by the same author? Another great crime novel about a retired Mafia hitman. Well worth grabbing a copy if you haven't
Not read the Frankie Machine one but I have California Fire & Life kicking about waiting to be read.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on August 27, 2015, 07:50:45 AM
I've not read that one, I'll add it to the list! Savages is a good read, too
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on September 11, 2015, 06:39:28 PM
Nearly pulled the trigger on this Spanish book mentioned on the Modculture website but the shipping price pushes it up to £33; a bit too expensive.  Shame.
http://www.modculture.co.uk/new-book-mods-guia-para-una-vida-guide-for-smart-life-by-dani-llabres/ (http://www.modculture.co.uk/new-book-mods-guia-para-una-vida-guide-for-smart-life-by-dani-llabres/)

Currently reading On Her Majesty's Secret Service which has always been my favourite Bond novel.  Must have had my paperback copy for longer than I care to remember.

I've almost finished mr. Llabres' book and (with a certain chauvinistic pride  8) ) I have to say that I think it's destined to become one of the, if not the, reference books about mods in spanish.

The book is what the subtitle states, a guide, kind of a thesaurus of all things mod-related. The template is obviously Paolo Hewitt's "The sharper world", with alphabetical entries that try to cover every aspect of the modernist experience.

But besides of being lenghtier than Hewitt's book, Llabres oeuvre puts to shame earlier spanish attempts to adress the subject. First, the man has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things mod, he knows what he's writing about and he does so from an insider's point of view. Second, he writes decently and he shows a much needed attribute when you've got to fit so rich a subculture in 400+ pages: conciseness. Every entry has a similar lenght and every one is packed with the right facts, without useless meandering or pointless superlatives. That's not to say he isn't passionate about the subject, quite the contrary, he shows a infectious commitment to it. Third, the publishing is cheap -a pocket-sized softcover- but it's been done carefully and to my surprise I've noticed very few misprints. A labour of love, but this time well done.

As in The sharper world case, the book's size doesn't do the graphic contents any good, enough to say the pics are nothing to write home about -the usual suspects plus a stunning spanish Lambretta ad-, but they're well chosen and round nicely the text (some of them are in color too).

On another subject, the book relies heavily in 60s modernism with the ocassional reference to revival bands (and very little about mod between the eighties and today, tho' he mentions "modculture.com"  ;D) , but I think it's the wisest choice when you try a basic approach. More debatable is the choice of one matter over another -for instance, there's a lot of space devoted to jazz and West Indian music- , but these are minor quibbles for a well rounded book and, as I pointed out, debatable issues.

Thumbs up then to Dani Llabres effort, a gold nugget in a spanish language market devoid of,-and in need of- good books about mod culture. That said, I doubt an english reader will really need this book, but it can be a nice addition to your shelf if you have more than a passing knowledge of the language. Not at 33 pounds, however.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on September 12, 2015, 06:47:40 AM
Nearly pulled the trigger on this Spanish book mentioned on the Modculture website but the shipping price pushes it up to £33; a bit too expensive.  Shame.
http://www.modculture.co.uk/new-book-mods-guia-para-una-vida-guide-for-smart-life-by-dani-llabres/ (http://www.modculture.co.uk/new-book-mods-guia-para-una-vida-guide-for-smart-life-by-dani-llabres/)

Currently reading On Her Majesty's Secret Service which has always been my favourite Bond novel.  Must have had my paperback copy for longer than I care to remember.

I've almost finished mr. Llabres' book and (with a certain chauvinistic pride  8) ) I have to say that I think it's destined to become one of the, if not the, reference books about mods in spanish.

The book is what the subtitle states, a guide, kind of a thesaurus of all things mod-related. The template is obviously Paolo Hewitt's "The sharper world", with alphabetical entries that try to cover every aspect of the modernist experience.

But besides of being lenghtier than Hewitt's book, Llabres oeuvre puts to shame earlier spanish attempts to adress the subject. First, the man has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things mod, he knows what he's writing about and he does so from an insider's point of view. Second, he writes decently and he shows a much needed attribute when you've got to fit so rich a subculture in 400+ pages: conciseness. Every entry has a similar lenght and every one is packed with the right facts, without useless meandering or pointless superlatives. That's not to say he isn't passionate about the subject, quite the contrary, he shows a infectious commitment to it. Third, the publishing is cheap -a pocket-sized softcover- but it's been done carefully and to my surprise I've noticed very few misprints. A labour of love, but this time well done.

As in The sharper world case, the book's size doesn't do the graphic contents any good, enough to say the pics are nothing to write home about -the usual suspects plus a stunning spanish Lambretta ad-, but they're well chosen and round nicely the text (some of them are in color too).

On another subject, the book relies heavily in 60s modernism with the ocassional reference to revival bands (and very little about mod between the eighties and today, tho' he mentions "modculture.com"  ;D) , but I think it's the wisest choice when you try a basic approach. More debatable is the choice of one matter over another -for instance, there's a lot of space devoted to jazz and West Indian music- , but these are minor quibbles for a well rounded book and, as I pointed out, debatable issues.

Thumbs up then to Dani Llabres effort, a gold nugget in a spanish language market devoid of,-and in need of- good books about mod culture. That said, I doubt an english reader will really need this book, but it can be a nice addition to your shelf if you have more than a passing knowledge of the language. Not at 33 pounds, however.
Thanks for the review, Greenstreet, I may buy it as I like to buy books in Spanish to brush up on my language skills.  I did post a comment on the Hipocondria Mods forum in which I wrote that it looks a decent book but the shipping costs pushed it up to £33 which is expensive but if it is well written rather then that's a different matter.  Oh, and as a fan of jazz and West Indian music, their inclusion is welcomed by me.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on September 12, 2015, 10:08:12 AM
Cheers, Ady! If you're still interested, follow the next link; it's the webstore of a popular spanish bookshop that offers discounts in their shipping costs for abroad destinations. All in all you can get the book for just 20 pounds, no doubt a fair price.

http://www.casadellibro.com/libro-mods-guia-para-una-vida-elegante/9788494065620/2603613

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on September 13, 2015, 09:59:50 AM
Cheers, Ady! If you're still interested, follow the next link; it's the webstore of a popular spanish bookshop that offers discounts in their shipping costs for abroad destinations. All in all you can get the book for just 20 pounds, no doubt a fair price.

http://www.casadellibro.com/libro-mods-guia-para-una-vida-elegante/9788494065620/2603613

Brilliant!  Thanks very much for that link.  I've just ordered the book for £19.91 including postage which is a big difference from the publisher's website which would be £33; their postage charges are extortionate.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on September 13, 2015, 06:03:49 PM
You're welcome, hope you enjoy the book  :)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on September 22, 2015, 06:14:57 PM
Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz, the recently published James Bond continuation novel.  This one's set a couple of weeks after Goldfinger and at the outset he's shacked up with Pussy Galore.  Only a couple of chapters into it but the author has got the Flemingisms, if not down to a tee, then certainly better than the recent attempts in the series by other authors.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on September 22, 2015, 08:25:39 PM
Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz, the recently published James Bond continuation novel.  This one's set a couple of weeks after Goldfinger and at the outset he's shacked up with Pussy Galore.  Only a couple of chapters into it but the author has got the Flemingisms, if not down to a tee, then certainly better than the recent attempts in the series by other authors.

Better than the Faulks one, Ady? I thought it was a really good read, and he nailed the Flemingisms
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Neil Lee on September 23, 2015, 04:31:56 PM
Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz, the recently published James Bond continuation novel.  This one's set a couple of weeks after Goldfinger and at the outset he's shacked up with Pussy Galore.  Only a couple of chapters into it but the author has got the Flemingisms, if not down to a tee, then certainly better than the recent attempts in the series by other authors.

Better than the Faulks one, Ady? I thought it was a really good read, and he nailed the Flemingisms

Worth getting then? I quite enjoyed the Faulks book.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on September 23, 2015, 05:54:44 PM
Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz, the recently published James Bond continuation novel.  This one's set a couple of weeks after Goldfinger and at the outset he's shacked up with Pussy Galore.  Only a couple of chapters into it but the author has got the Flemingisms, if not down to a tee, then certainly better than the recent attempts in the series by other authors.

Better than the Faulks one, Ady? I thought it was a really good read, and he nailed the Flemingisms

Worth getting then? I quite enjoyed the Faulks book.

Yes, definitely worth getting.  I thought the Faulks' book ok but at times it descended from pastiche into parody and ended up Bond-by-numbers.  This one does have 'original material by Ian Fleming' and that segment is excellent and it's a reflection of Horowitz's skill that it's almost seamless (I'll not spoil which part it is if you've not read reviews of the novel already).  However, no other author who's had a go at writing in the style of Fleming can quite pull off his 'inner monologue' of the Bond character.  By comparison with the Faulks' novel Trigger Mortis has a high octane Grand Prix race at the Nurburgring and Devil May Care had a...tennis match, 'nuff said!  I'd also recommend Solo by William Boyd which has a really good story set in 1969 and Bond is having a bit of a midlife crisis; he's yearning for an Interceptor sports car  ;)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on September 24, 2015, 08:03:47 AM
Cheers, Ady, both are now on my to-read list!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on September 25, 2015, 09:42:02 AM

(http://i.imgur.com/zLcn8TW.jpg?1)

I'm sure I posted something about the publishing of this book some months ago, but I'm too lazy to browse through the thread so...

This is just an update for those of you who can be interested in it. I got in touch with the guy in charge at Easy on the Eye Books, Simon Robinson, and he's told me it's due to appear in what's left of 2015, tho' they still haven't an official date.

The thing is they were scanning the pics from prints of the era, but suddenly they discovered by chance that the photographer still kept a bunch of negatives at home, so they began scanning the lot and that's why the project has been delayed. I don't know how good it'll turn out to be in the end, but I'm going to keep my order through Amazon, it could well be the photography book of the year!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on October 10, 2015, 09:55:08 AM
For Ady et al and any fans of lowlife / London literature who have acccess to sky or freeview channels;  the film of "It always rains on Sunday" is being shown today at 2pm on London Live (Freeview 8, Sky 117, Virgin 159).

They show some great BFI and Ealing films - worth keeping an eye out for.

http://www.londonlive.co.uk/programmes/it-always-rains-on-sunday/1b5b0474
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on October 10, 2015, 10:05:18 AM
For Ady et al and any fans of lowlife / London literature who have acccess to sky or freeview channels;  the film of "It always rains on Sunday" is being shown today at 2pm on London Live (Freeview 8, Sky 117, Virgin 159).

They show some great BFI and Ealing films - worth keeping an eye out for.

http://www.londonlive.co.uk/programmes/it-always-rains-on-sunday/1b5b0474
Thanks, Bill!  Sadly I don't have access to those channels but the DVD is cheap enough!  The book is brilliant, by the way, if you've yet to read it.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on October 10, 2015, 11:19:14 AM
For Ady et al and any fans of lowlife / London literature who have acccess to sky or freeview channels;  the film of "It always rains on Sunday" is being shown today at 2pm on London Live (Freeview 8, Sky 117, Virgin 159).

They show some great BFI and Ealing films - worth keeping an eye out for.

http://www.londonlive.co.uk/programmes/it-always-rains-on-sunday/1b5b0474
Thanks, Bill!  Sadly I don't have access to those channels but the DVD is cheap enough!  The book is brilliant, by the way, if you've yet to read it.

Yep, it can be picked up for very little - nice BFI reissue as well.
I did get aroud to reading the book (on your recommendation) - loved it; one of the best in the "canon" I reckon.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on December 08, 2015, 06:44:13 PM
The Burden of Proof by James Barlow which I saw reviewed on the Modculture site.  I knew about the film Villain (starring the ever excellent Richard Burton) but to be honest I didn't know of the novel on which it is based.  Published in 1968, it's much more multi faceted than I remember the film being (I've not seen it for a long while) and explores the story from the different characters' perspectives.  One of the characters, Wolfe Lissner, is man who lives off of the seedy underbelly of London.  In one scene, he's out and about in the small hours, amongst other things, pushing pills and it called to mind both The Small Faces' Here Comes The Nice and also David Bowie's London Boys

Down a social grade, literally down, to the ones who were poorer, couldn’t pay the West End prices. Down in a cellar three hundred of them were living the life, jerking their hips, bucking about in a kinetic orgasm in a vast black cube.  Someone had organized the scene faintly and the beat music concussed the walls, and the thick drug-loaded voices of American Negroes and long-haired kids from Liverpool who were making the grade ricocheted from wall to wall.  Half past four and the kids were still at it, sweating, pale, some of the girls damn near stripped, their hair wet with exertion, mouths open to gasp the emaciated air.  They danced a little slack now, letting the beat take them mindlessly, knock them stupid, because they, thousands and maybe millions of them, had won.  To hell with everything except this, the frenzy of the beat, the orgasm of the limbs, hour after satiated hour... 
And here he (the pill pusher) found them, stroked out from exhaustion, and he brought then the means whereby they could come back at once on the scene, the limbs jerk, the guts a little sick at first, then revived, writhing, twitching, drenched in the beat. 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on December 08, 2015, 08:39:34 PM
The Burden of Proof by James Barlow which I saw reviewed on the Modculture site.  I knew about the film Villain (starring the ever excellent Richard Burton) but to be honest I didn't know of the novel on which it is based.  Published in 1968, it's much more multi faceted than I remember the film being (I've not seen it for a long while) and explores the story from the different characters' perspectives.  One of the characters, Wolfe Lissner, is man who lives off of the seedy underbelly of London.  In one scene, he's out and about in the small hours, amongst other things, pushing pills and it called to mind both The Small Faces' Here Comes The Nice and also David Bowie's London Boys

Down a social grade, literally down, to the ones who were poorer, couldn’t pay the West End prices. Down in a cellar three hundred of them were living the life, jerking their hips, bucking about in a kinetic orgasm in a vast black cube.  Someone had organized the scene faintly and the beat music concussed the walls, and the thick drug-loaded voices of American Negroes and long-haired kids from Liverpool who were making the grade ricocheted from wall to wall.  Half past four and the kids were still at it, sweating, pale, some of the girls damn near stripped, their hair wet with exertion, mouths open to gasp the emaciated air.  They danced a little slack now, letting the beat take them mindlessly, knock them stupid, because they, thousands and maybe millions of them, had won.  To hell with everything except this, the frenzy of the beat, the orgasm of the limbs, hour after satiated hour... 
And here he (the pill pusher) found them, stroked out from exhaustion, and he brought then the means whereby they could come back at once on the scene, the limbs jerk, the guts a little sick at first, then revived, writhing, twitching, drenched in the beat. 


Love the sound of that, Ady, added to my Santa list...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 09, 2016, 12:40:10 PM
Got through a few this last week or so:

Trouble In West Two by Kevin FitzGerald (1958): a late 50s spy thriller set in the world of dodgy back street boozers and illicit after hours drinking clubs populated with gamblers, villains and working girls as described in this extract:

In the bar room there is always to be found Henry, the pansy barman who has a pretty taste in earrings and bracelets; and for the more virile customers, there is Betty. Betty, like all the members and frequenters of the Gimmick Club, is far indeed from the norm of our healthy British way of life. She wears five-inch heels in public – which takes much practise – and she is said to be able to walk a room in a seven-inch pair. Her pliable steel corset is famous all over Bayswater and addicts have come from Manchester and beyond to see her spiked bracelets and snake-fang clips. Betty is what is known in West Two as a feather and is one of the reasons why Moss (the owner) has to be a little particular about his membership.

Rule Three: Pretend To Be Nice by Annabel Dilke (1964): the story of Katie, a lass from Gloucestershire, who moves to London for excitement and glamour and ends falling for Dominic, a public school ne’er – do – well.  It has some good descriptions of a jazz club (but not one populated with Mods) and it reads very much like those charming 60s films like The Pleasure Girls and The System: it’s easy to imagine a young Oliver Reed playing the role of the cocky and aloof Dominic.

West End Girls by Barbara Tate:  absolutely brilliant story of her time working as a prostitute’s maid in late 40s Soho.  In turn it’s hilariously funny, touching and eye-opening: the accounts and practices of the working girls’ methods and lifestyle are recounted with wit, verve and panache; it’s sordid and candid but never lowers into vulgarity.  Highly recommended!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 09, 2016, 05:46:08 PM
I tip my hat to you, Ady. I'm really impressed by your scholarly knowledge of the "London novel" (is that the right term?) sub-genre.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on January 09, 2016, 06:39:42 PM
Got through a few this last week or so:

Trouble In West Two by Kevin FitzGerald (1958): a late 50s spy thriller set in the world of dodgy back street boozers and illicit after hours drinking clubs populated with gamblers, villains and working girls as described in this extract:

In the bar room there is always to be found Henry, the pansy barman who has a pretty taste in earrings and bracelets; and for the more virile customers, there is Betty. Betty, like all the members and frequenters of the Gimmick Club, is far indeed from the norm of our healthy British way of life. She wears five-inch heels in public – which takes much practise – and she is said to be able to walk a room in a seven-inch pair. Her pliable steel corset is famous all over Bayswater and addicts have come from Manchester and beyond to see her spiked bracelets and snake-fang clips. Betty is what is known in West Two as a feather and is one of the reasons why Moss (the owner) has to be a little particular about his membership.

Rule Three: Pretend To Be Nice by Annabel Dilke (1964): the story of Katie, a lass from Gloucestershire, who moves to London for excitement and glamour and ends falling for Dominic, a public school ne’er – do – well.  It has some good descriptions of a jazz club (but not one populated with Mods) and it reads very much like those charming 60s films like The Pleasure Girls and The System: it’s easy to imagine a young Oliver Reed playing the role of the cocky and aloof Dominic.

West End Girls by Barbara Tate:  absolutely brilliant story of her time working as a prostitute’s maid in late 40s Soho.  In turn it’s hilariously funny, touching and eye-opening: the accounts and practices of the working girls’ methods and lifestyle are recounted with wit, verve and panache; it’s sordid and candid but never lowers into vulgarity.  Highly recommended!

Where did you find Trouble in West 2?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 10, 2016, 07:42:43 AM
Got through a few this last week or so:

Trouble In West Two by Kevin FitzGerald (1958): a late 50s spy thriller set in the world of dodgy back street boozers and illicit after hours drinking clubs populated with gamblers, villains and working girls as described in this extract:

In the bar room there is always to be found Henry, the pansy barman who has a pretty taste in earrings and bracelets; and for the more virile customers, there is Betty. Betty, like all the members and frequenters of the Gimmick Club, is far indeed from the norm of our healthy British way of life. She wears five-inch heels in public – which takes much practise – and she is said to be able to walk a room in a seven-inch pair. Her pliable steel corset is famous all over Bayswater and addicts have come from Manchester and beyond to see her spiked bracelets and snake-fang clips. Betty is what is known in West Two as a feather and is one of the reasons why Moss (the owner) has to be a little particular about his membership.

Rule Three: Pretend To Be Nice by Annabel Dilke (1964): the story of Katie, a lass from Gloucestershire, who moves to London for excitement and glamour and ends falling for Dominic, a public school ne’er – do – well.  It has some good descriptions of a jazz club (but not one populated with Mods) and it reads very much like those charming 60s films like The Pleasure Girls and The System: it’s easy to imagine a young Oliver Reed playing the role of the cocky and aloof Dominic.

West End Girls by Barbara Tate:  absolutely brilliant story of her time working as a prostitute’s maid in late 40s Soho.  In turn it’s hilariously funny, touching and eye-opening: the accounts and practices of the working girls’ methods and lifestyle are recounted with wit, verve and panache; it’s sordid and candid but never lowers into vulgarity.  Highly recommended!

Where did you find Trouble in West 2?
Hi Stax, found a copy on Amazon.  If you PM me your address I'll post it on for you to read.  I found out about two of the above from some website links which Soulstar sent me as he knows far more about these type of books than I do.  I think you have read the West End Girls one?  Seem to remember someone mentioning it on this thread.

I also have a look on this website if I'm after a particular book
http://www.abebooks.co.uk/?cm_sp=TopNav-_-Results-_-Logo (http://www.abebooks.co.uk/?cm_sp=TopNav-_-Results-_-Logo)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on January 10, 2016, 12:56:36 PM
Got through a few this last week or so:

Trouble In West Two by Kevin FitzGerald (1958): a late 50s spy thriller set in the world of dodgy back street boozers and illicit after hours drinking clubs populated with gamblers, villains and working girls as described in this extract:

In the bar room there is always to be found Henry, the pansy barman who has a pretty taste in earrings and bracelets; and for the more virile customers, there is Betty. Betty, like all the members and frequenters of the Gimmick Club, is far indeed from the norm of our healthy British way of life. She wears five-inch heels in public – which takes much practise – and she is said to be able to walk a room in a seven-inch pair. Her pliable steel corset is famous all over Bayswater and addicts have come from Manchester and beyond to see her spiked bracelets and snake-fang clips. Betty is what is known in West Two as a feather and is one of the reasons why Moss (the owner) has to be a little particular about his membership.

Rule Three: Pretend To Be Nice by Annabel Dilke (1964): the story of Katie, a lass from Gloucestershire, who moves to London for excitement and glamour and ends falling for Dominic, a public school ne’er – do – well.  It has some good descriptions of a jazz club (but not one populated with Mods) and it reads very much like those charming 60s films like The Pleasure Girls and The System: it’s easy to imagine a young Oliver Reed playing the role of the cocky and aloof Dominic.

West End Girls by Barbara Tate:  absolutely brilliant story of her time working as a prostitute’s maid in late 40s Soho.  In turn it’s hilariously funny, touching and eye-opening: the accounts and practices of the working girls’ methods and lifestyle are recounted with wit, verve and panache; it’s sordid and candid but never lowers into vulgarity.  Highly recommended!

Where did you find Trouble in West 2?
Hi Stax, found a copy on Amazon.  If you PM me your address I'll post it on for you to read.  I found out about two of the above from some website links which Soulstar sent me as he knows far more about these type of books than I do.  I think you have read the West End Girls one?  Seem to remember someone mentioning it on this thread.

I also have a look on this website if I'm after a particular book
http://www.abebooks.co.uk/?cm_sp=TopNav-_-Results-_-Logo (http://www.abebooks.co.uk/?cm_sp=TopNav-_-Results-_-Logo)

Thanks for that, i'll send my address.
I have read the West End Girls one. I enjoyed most of it, but i did find it running out of steam after a bit. Still, a great snapshot of Soho in days gone by.
Are you reading any of the British Library Crime Classics books?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 10, 2016, 01:06:20 PM
Not read any of the British Library Crime Classics as yet but I will get round to them.
Currently reading Saturday Night & Sunday Morning by Alan Stillitoe and after that, Room At The Top by John Braine.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ian_B on January 10, 2016, 02:49:02 PM
Been working my way through Len Deighton's Three Bernard Samson Trilogies (Berlin Game, Mexico Set & London Match: Hook, Line & Sinker, and Faith, Hope & Charity)

Thoroughly enjoyable as I'd expect fropm Mr D - I'm just about to read Hope - I'll probably read Winter (which follows the lives of a German family from 1899 to 1945 and provides an historical background to several of the characters in the 9 Bernard Samson books), when I've finished Charity
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 10, 2016, 07:20:10 PM
Not read any of the British Library Crime Classics as yet but I will get round to them.
Currently reading Saturday Night & Sunday Morning by Alan Stillitoe and after that, Room At The Top by John Braine.

Room at the top is a truly great novel, to me one of the remainders of why I love so much 20th century british narrative. You're in for a treat, Ady. Saturday night & sunday morning is on my list from a long time ago, but I have to find first a good spanish translation.

At the moment I'm midway through 1966 (in english, as there's no spanish translation as yet and, frankly, I have little hope someone publishes it here). I have to say it's fascinating reading if you're interested in 60s popular culture. Well written, well researched, and using the songs of the year -classic or obscure stuff- as launching pads to topics like feminism, drugs, the bomb or Vietnam. Even if you're familiar with the overall subject -and everyone here will be, at least to a certain extent- the book offers little known facts and compelling points of view. The mods of course have their well deserved place in the jigsaw, but I won't spoil the fun of the forumees that are planning to read it. A few minor mistakes -Rod Demick, and not Brian Rossi, was the lead singer on the Wheels Bad Little Woman, for instance-, don't detract from one of top essays of the year on pop music and teenage's sociology. 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 11, 2016, 05:46:40 PM
Not read any of the British Library Crime Classics as yet but I will get round to them.
Currently reading Saturday Night & Sunday Morning by Alan Stillitoe and after that, Room At The Top by John Braine.

Room at the top is a truly great novel, to me one of the remainders of why I love so much 20th century british narrative. You're in for a treat, Ady. Saturday night & sunday morning is on my list from a long time ago, but I have to find first a good spanish translation.

At the moment I'm midway through 1966 (in english, as there's no spanish translation as yet and, frankly, I have little hope someone publishes it here). I have to say it's fascinating reading if you're interested in 60s popular culture. Well written, well researched, and using the songs of the year -classic or obscure stuff- as launching pads to topics like feminism, drugs, the bomb or Vietnam. Even if you're familiar with the overall subject -and everyone here will be, at least to a certain extent- the book offers little known facts and compelling points of view. The mods of course have their well deserved place in the jigsaw, but I won't spoil the fun of the forumees that are planning to read it. A few minor mistakes -Rod Demick, and not Brian Rossi, was the lead singer on the Wheels Bad Little Woman, for instance-, don't detract from one of top essays of the year on pop music and teenage's sociology.
Thanks Greenstreet:  really looking forward to Room At The Top. There was an excellent BBC adaptation of it about three years ago so it'll be interesting to compare that to the novel.
Is the 1966 book the one by Jon Savage?  I've not bought any popular culture books for ages.  There's this one and Detroit '67: The Year That Changed Soul by Stuart Cosgrove that I have been meaning to buy.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 11, 2016, 06:10:41 PM
Cheers, Ady. I try to alternate between narrative and essays (and old Marvel comics to lighten the mood!). I've heard good things about the Detroit book, but I haven't read it yet. I can recommend wholeheartedly the Jon Savage (yes, it's him) book tho.
I've not seen the BBC "Room at the top" series either, but I've seen the 60s movie and it's a terrific film, it would be difficult to choose between the novel and the adaptation.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on January 12, 2016, 09:47:56 PM
Got through a few this last week or so:

Trouble In West Two by Kevin FitzGerald (1958): a late 50s spy thriller set in the world of dodgy back street boozers and illicit after hours drinking clubs populated with gamblers, villains and working girls as described in this extract:

In the bar room there is always to be found Henry, the pansy barman who has a pretty taste in earrings and bracelets; and for the more virile customers, there is Betty. Betty, like all the members and frequenters of the Gimmick Club, is far indeed from the norm of our healthy British way of life. She wears five-inch heels in public – which takes much practise – and she is said to be able to walk a room in a seven-inch pair. Her pliable steel corset is famous all over Bayswater and addicts have come from Manchester and beyond to see her spiked bracelets and snake-fang clips. Betty is what is known in West Two as a feather and is one of the reasons why Moss (the owner) has to be a little particular about his membership.

Rule Three: Pretend To Be Nice by Annabel Dilke (1964): the story of Katie, a lass from Gloucestershire, who moves to London for excitement and glamour and ends falling for Dominic, a public school ne’er – do – well.  It has some good descriptions of a jazz club (but not one populated with Mods) and it reads very much like those charming 60s films like The Pleasure Girls and The System: it’s easy to imagine a young Oliver Reed playing the role of the cocky and aloof Dominic.

West End Girls by Barbara Tate:  absolutely brilliant story of her time working as a prostitute’s maid in late 40s Soho.  In turn it’s hilariously funny, touching and eye-opening: the accounts and practices of the working girls’ methods and lifestyle are recounted with wit, verve and panache; it’s sordid and candid but never lowers into vulgarity.  Highly recommended!

Where did you find Trouble in West 2?
Hi Stax, found a copy on Amazon.  If you PM me your address I'll post it on for you to read.  I found out about two of the above from some website links which Soulstar sent me as he knows far more about these type of books than I do.  I think you have read the West End Girls one?  Seem to remember someone mentioning it on this thread.

I also have a look on this website if I'm after a particular book
http://www.abebooks.co.uk/?cm_sp=TopNav-_-Results-_-Logo (http://www.abebooks.co.uk/?cm_sp=TopNav-_-Results-_-Logo)

Bless you Ady but you're tearing through that genre at a rate that I'd never keep up with.
I haven't read any of those - but all three sound great. The list grows longer.....

After years of Jason "Suave Collective" recommending William Boyd's "Any Human Heart" - I finally got around to picking it up and finishing it over Christmas. A great steer towards a truly affecting book.

Currently reading a book that a mate wrote; titled "I Vladimir". About vampires, it's not the sort of thing I'd consider reading normally - but I seem to be getting my teeth into it.
I'll get me cape.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Trotsky on January 19, 2016, 03:41:18 PM
'Black Gold - The dark history of coffee' by Antony Wild

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Gold-Dark-History-Coffee/dp/1841156566

A great book about how coffee came to be such a common and important drink throughout the world. For all you cappuccino lovers and coffee purists it's a must read book. The instant coffee drinkers amongst you will feel shame and guilt. Quite right too.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Dave E on January 19, 2016, 06:03:36 PM
Got a stack of books on the go at the moment, including a couple of nice photographic books. Highly recommend The Bag I'm In by Sam Knee, a pictorial history of UK music scenes from 1960 - 1990. Theres a few familiar faces hiding in there. Npt mod in the slightest but an old friend of mine David Arnoff has just had a book of photos published called Shot In The Dark. Really good photos, mostly punk, new wave, garage and goth bands from late 70's to mid 80's. Aside from Steve Pipers Too Much Too Youing and Jon Savages' 1966, really looking forward to getting stuck into Zoe Howes' book on Lee Brilleaux.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Fentonwho on January 22, 2016, 01:35:17 PM
Hello Dave how you doing mate ?! I've also yet to start the Brilleaux book
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Rocketman on January 23, 2016, 09:09:45 PM
Cheers, Ady. I try to alternate between narrative and essays (and old Marvel comics to lighten the mood!). I've heard good things about the Detroit book, but I haven't read it yet. I can recommend wholeheartedly the Jon Savage (yes, it's him) book tho.
I've not seen the BBC "Room at the top" series either, but I've seen the 60s movie and it's a terrific film, it would be difficult to choose between the novel and the adaptation.
Bought '1966'  (savage)  today , also browsed shindig mag which had a excerpt taken from said book on the dovers (great band) and lsd. Looking forward to the read.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 24, 2016, 11:41:47 AM
You won't be dissapointed, it's not just an essential book about mid sixties pop music, but a very clever dissection of the main socio-political issues of the decade. It's clever and digs deep in its subjects (for instance, Savage's  assesments on the Rolling Stones singles of that year are masterful) but never pretentious.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on January 24, 2016, 11:51:52 AM
Another vote for Savage's 1966. Only up to April but it is as brilliant as you'd expect from Savage (see also England's Dreaming).
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: ianeggbert on January 25, 2016, 12:25:04 AM
Another vote for Savage's 1966. Only up to April but it is as brilliant as you'd expect from Savage (see also England's Dreaming).

Got this one for Christmas too, so looking forward to starting it...........as soon as I've finished the other weighty tome I got - Stuart Cosgrove's excellently reviewed "Detroit 67 - The Year That Changed Soul"
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: banjo on January 25, 2016, 08:56:13 AM
I've just finished Ametora, How Japan Saved American Style. It's a great insight into how obsessive the Japanese are about Ivy League and other styles. Taking influence from America then changing into something very Japanese. The obsession with denim and how their companies grew to producing better items than the originals was fascinating.
I can't recommend this book enough.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 25, 2016, 11:47:14 AM
Thanks for the review, that was on my list too.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 25, 2016, 07:40:28 PM
Another vote for Savage's 1966. Only up to April but it is as brilliant as you'd expect from Savage (see also England's Dreaming).

Got this one for Christmas too, so looking forward to starting it...........as soon as I've finished the other weighty tome I got - Stuart Cosgrove's excellently reviewed "Detroit 67 - The Year That Changed Soul"
Just placed my order for Jon Savage's 1966 book.
Flicking through the current issue of Mojo, there's a piece on an upcoming hardback book called The Sound of Young America by Adam White & Barney Ales which is priced at around the £25 mark on Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0500518297?keywords=the%20sound%20of%20young%20america%20adam%20white&qid=1453750238&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0500518297?keywords=the%20sound%20of%20young%20america%20adam%20white&qid=1453750238&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 27, 2016, 09:09:27 PM
Just finished Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe.  This passage struck me, when the protagonist, Arthur, is getting ready to go out.

Up in his bedroom he surveyed his row of suits, trousers, sports jackets, shirts, all suspended in colourful drapes and designs, good-quality tailor-mades, a couple of hundred quids’ worth, a fabulous wardrobe of which he was proud because it had cost him so much labour.  For some reason he selected his finest suit of black and changed into it, fastening the pearl buttons of a white silk shirt and pulling on his trousers.  He picked up his wallet then slipped lighter and cigarette case into an outside pocket.  The final item of Friday night ritual was to stand before the downstairs mirror and adjust his tie, comb his thick fair hair neatly back, and search out a clean handkerchief from the dresser drawer.  Square-toed black shoes reflected a pink face when he bent down to see that no speck of dust was on them.  Over his jacket he wore his twenty-guinea triumph, a thick three-quarter overcoat of Donegal tweed.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on January 31, 2016, 10:31:51 PM
A great slice, Ady. I love the face reflected in the shoes - very cinematic.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on February 01, 2016, 07:18:33 PM
Currently reading Patrick Hamilton 'Mr Stimpson and Mr Gorse' which I picked up for a few pence (this edition is retitled 'The Charmer':  I didn't realise that the 80s TV drama with Nigel Havers was loosely based on this book; been years since I saw that).  It's up to scratch with the other Hamilton books that I have read, this one being a, 'spine-tingling tale of seduction and murder, set in 1930s Reading', of all places.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on February 09, 2016, 09:18:05 AM
The Burden of Proof by James Barlow on the back of Ady's review on here. I won't rehash what has already been said, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable caper novel, with plenty of interesting period stuff and I particularly liked the idea of telling it from the perspective of several of the protagonists. Vic Deakin is a memorable crime boss in all the wrong ways, a psychopathic sadist with a mother complex who's hair-trigger temper is never far from exploding.

I picked it up on amazon for less than a couple of quid; having read it, I'd have paid more than that. Cheers, Ady!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on February 09, 2016, 05:20:09 PM
The Burden of Proof by James Barlow on the back of Ady's review on here. I won't rehash what has already been said, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable caper novel, with plenty of interesting period stuff and I particularly liked the idea of telling it from the perspective of several of the protagonists. Vic Deakin is a memorable crime boss in all the wrong ways, a psychopathic sadist with a mother complex who's hair-trigger temper is never far from exploding.

I picked it up on amazon for less than a couple of quid; having read it, I'd have paid more than that. Cheers, Ady!
Not a problem.  I did have a chuckle when a witness (I think) described Vic Deakin as having a resemblance to the actor Richard Burton.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on February 10, 2016, 09:07:16 AM
The Burden of Proof by James Barlow on the back of Ady's review on here. I won't rehash what has already been said, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable caper novel, with plenty of interesting period stuff and I particularly liked the idea of telling it from the perspective of several of the protagonists. Vic Deakin is a memorable crime boss in all the wrong ways, a psychopathic sadist with a mother complex who's hair-trigger temper is never far from exploding.

I picked it up on amazon for less than a couple of quid; having read it, I'd have paid more than that. Cheers, Ady!
Not a problem.  I did have a chuckle when a witness (I think) described Vic Deakin as having a resemblance to the actor Richard Burton.

Haha, yes, made all the more amusing for me as the copy of the book I got had a still of Burton from the 'Villain' film on the cover! I wonder did that influence the producers?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on February 10, 2016, 05:26:40 PM
The Burden of Proof by James Barlow on the back of Ady's review on here. I won't rehash what has already been said, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable caper novel, with plenty of interesting period stuff and I particularly liked the idea of telling it from the perspective of several of the protagonists. Vic Deakin is a memorable crime boss in all the wrong ways, a psychopathic sadist with a mother complex who's hair-trigger temper is never far from exploding.

I picked it up on amazon for less than a couple of quid; having read it, I'd have paid more than that. Cheers, Ady!
Not a problem.  I did have a chuckle when a witness (I think) described Vic Deakin as having a resemblance to the actor Richard Burton.

Haha, yes, made all the more amusing for me as the copy of the book I got had a still of Burton from the 'Villain' film on the cover! I wonder did that influence the producers?
Made me wonder at the time and I did some Internet research but drew a blank. I will at some point buy a biography of the great man (probably the one by Melvin Bragg.  Burton's diaries are no doubt worth a punt as well.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on February 11, 2016, 02:21:30 AM
Jist finished Townie by Andre Dubus III.


Good stuff.

Makes ye think aboot families, manhood n' fisticuffs.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Woody 64 on February 13, 2016, 11:24:00 PM
Just started Detroit 67..enjoying it so far..it's a hefty tome,will be a wee while with this one. I'm not the fastest reader these days.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on February 17, 2016, 07:52:13 PM
Awake For Mourning by Bernard Kops (1958)

Two ex-cons are on the train to London having just been released from prison.  Mike is in his early 20s, restless, hedonistic, and wanting to make up for the three years he was banged up for robbery whereas Jack is in his fifties, jaded, cynical, and on his way home after serving a stretch for administering back street abortions but when he gets home to the house in Camden Town he finds it’s now a run down slum where rooms are rented to immigrants and that his wife has gone on the game to make ends meet, his daughter is pregnant out of wedlock and his son is in the Far East on National Service.

Mike quickly realises that the streets aren’t paved with gold and it’s tough for an ex-con with no money so takes up Jack’s offer for somewhere to stay.  Things to don’t go well and he leaves and being destitute attempts to pickpocket a wealthy looking man but gets caught.  The man is a Svengali and quickly realises that Mike can be manipulated to a greater purpose.

The novel explores many themes which pre-occupied writers at the time (unplanned pregnancy and illegal abortions; the Cold War and threat of all out nuclear war; the seeming nihilism of the youth of the day; the rise of the ‘teenager’ and its attendant consumerism).  The Svengali, Derek Bishop, wants power and so he moulds Mike into Mike Rebel manufactured pop star in order to cast the youth of the day under his spell and join Bishop’s New Youth Party, an extreme right wing political group.

The novel also has themes about popular culture that are still contemporary, one of which is making stars of people that have no great talent by means of media saturation and product placement (The boy was phenomenal.  Most people said they didn’t understand what they saw in him, but were fascinated by his complete lack of talent.  “He’s so sincere,” they said, remembering the slogans that had appeared with him on television screens and cinemas) and also knowing the right people  (“So I make a few records and I can’t sing for toffee nuts, and a bloke from Denmark Street listens to it and shakes his fat ‘ead.  “This is crap, I can’t publish this stuff, I can’t plug it,” ‘e said, an’ old Derek replied: “If it’s crap, it’ll sell, look at what goes these days.”  Then ‘e ‘anded ‘im a cheque and the fat man smiled”.) 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on February 18, 2016, 10:26:20 AM
It goes to the list, but a first research indicates this one will be difficult to get  >:(
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on February 25, 2016, 10:32:50 AM

(http://i.imgur.com/zLcn8TW.jpg?1)

I'm sure I posted something about the publishing of this book some months ago, but I'm too lazy to browse through the thread so...

This is just an update for those of you who can be interested in it. I got in touch with the guy in charge at Easy on the Eye Books, Simon Robinson, and he's told me it's due to appear in what's left of 2015, tho' they still haven't an official date.

The thing is they were scanning the pics from prints of the era, but suddenly they discovered by chance that the photographer still kept a bunch of negatives at home, so they began scanning the lot and that's why the project has been delayed. I don't know how good it'll turn out to be in the end, but I'm going to keep my order through Amazon, it could well be the photography book of the year!

An update about this book appears now on the publisher's page:

https://easyontheeyebooks.wordpress.com/

Amazon gives a march 31st date for the publishing, and judging by the preliminar layout it'll be an essential addition to a well discerning modernist's library.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 06, 2016, 05:06:44 PM
I recall that an original Mod described Jean Paul-Satre as one of the three tenets of modernism.  I've been reading his Age of Reason; two thirds of the way through it after weeks and weeks.  Could be that the English translation from the French isn't of the best as it often feels stilted and the syntax just doesn't flow.  I'll see it through now I've got this far...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on April 07, 2016, 09:00:22 AM
I'm afraid it's the way Sartre himself writes, Ady. I recall me reading Nausea during a hot summer when I was 20 or so. I liked the book in a strange way, but it wasn't the most pleasant reading, to put it mildly. IMO Camus is a much better writer and an equally brilliant thinker (tbh, my way of thinking has more to do with Camus than Sartre).

The mod connection always seemed esoteric (and aspirational) to me, with that early modernists' obsession with the latest continental trends (ie la nouvelle vague and of course existentialism...), but then I think none of these pioneers actually finished a Sartre book!  ;D
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 07, 2016, 04:33:05 PM
I'm afraid it's the way Sartre himself writes, Ady. I recall me reading Nausea during a hot summer when I was 20 or so. I liked the book in a strange way, but it wasn't the most pleasant reading, to put it mildly. IMO Camus is a much better writer and an equally brilliant thinker (tbh, my way of thinking has more to do with Camus than Sartre).

The mod connection always seemed esoteric (and aspirational) to me, with that early modernists' obsession with the latest continental trends (ie la nouvelle vague and of course existentialism...), but then I think none of these pioneers actually finished a Sartre book!  ;D
I've read a couple of Camus' books (The Fall and The Outsider) and I much prefer him.  I'm struggling to finish the Satre one, to be honest.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Simon Bond on April 08, 2016, 10:18:04 PM
I'm afraid it's the way Sartre himself writes, Ady. I recall me reading Nausea during a hot summer when I was 20 or so. I liked the book in a strange way, but it wasn't the most pleasant reading, to put it mildly. IMO Camus is a much better writer and an equally brilliant thinker (tbh, my way of thinking has more to do with Camus than Sartre).

The mod connection always seemed esoteric (and aspirational) to me, with that early modernists' obsession with the latest continental trends (ie la nouvelle vague and of course existentialism...), but then I think none of these pioneers actually finished a Sartre book!  ;D

Yes, I recall Meaden saying something about Mod's being , existentialists but I can no longer find the quote , so maybe he didn't eh ?

Or did he . .
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on April 09, 2016, 08:58:31 AM
Well, that's the guy who equated mods to the Vietcong guerrillas  :o. Too many pills going on!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Simon Bond on April 09, 2016, 10:31:47 AM
What I do know is, Rosa Chacel was certainly an existentialist. .
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on April 09, 2016, 11:28:35 AM
I haven't read anything from her, but I think she predates existentialism, in fact the lady was part of the 1927 generation, with such illustrious companions as Lorca or Miguel Hernández. Maybe she was existentialist after all, as she had a very long life, roughly 100 years!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on April 13, 2016, 01:56:57 PM
Bad Vibes (Britpop and my part in its downfall) by Luke Haines. Recommended by Monkey of this parish, I loved this book from start to finish. The Auteurs main man, I'd argue, is perhaps a better writer than he is musician. I say perhaps, as I've no real frame of reference for their output. Though they did enjoy a modicum of success during the 90s. Anyway, his acerbic wit, wry observations and wilful refusal to 'play the game' makes for a thoroughly enjoyable romp through that era of British music. Suede, Pulp, Oasis, Blur, the Verve, Elastica, Gene, Marion, the list of those who feel the full force of Haines' ire is almost endless, though he is equally scathing about himself and his band. The possibility of sewing on a fringe and a tale involving acid, trepanning and Matthew Hopkins are just two of many laugh-out-loud moments, go check it out!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 13, 2016, 06:02:24 PM
I haven't read anything from her, but I think she predates existentialism, in fact the lady was part of the 1927 generation, with such illustrious companions as Lorca or Miguel Hernández. Maybe she was existentialist after all, as she had a very long life, roughly 100 years!
I've got a copy of Lorca's Poet In New York which has parallel English text.  Very abstract wasn't he?  Worth the effort, though, and I did try to translate them without looking at the English translation ;)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on April 14, 2016, 08:53:34 AM
"Poeta en Nueva York" is Lorca at his best, but I guess it's a pretty challenging translation. In my own experience with English, it's always a lot more difficult to deal with poetry than with prose. Well, excepting novelists like Joyce, but then I couldn't finishUlysses even in its Spanish translation! I liked Dubliners, tho'.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Simon Bond on April 14, 2016, 11:42:08 AM
I haven't read anything from her, but I think she predates existentialism, in fact the lady was part of the 1927 generation, with such illustrious companions as Lorca or Miguel Hernández. Maybe she was existentialist after all, as she had a very long life, roughly 100 years!

Surely , existentialism goes all the way back to Descartes ?

My sister interviewed Chacel 30 odd years ago that is why I got to find out about her beliefs . Maybe it was a later life thing as I know she greatly missed her husband still but was very happy to be back in Espana. .
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on April 18, 2016, 03:48:31 PM
Bad Vibes (Britpop and my part in its downfall) by Luke Haines. Recommended by Monkey of this parish, I loved this book from start to finish. The Auteurs main man, I'd argue, is perhaps a better writer than he is musician. I say perhaps, as I've no real frame of reference for their output. Though they did enjoy a modicum of success during the 90s. Anyway, his acerbic wit, wry observations and wilful refusal to 'play the game' makes for a thoroughly enjoyable romp through that era of British music. Suede, Pulp, Oasis, Blur, the Verve, Elastica, Gene, Marion, the list of those who feel the full force of Haines' ire is almost endless, though he is equally scathing about himself and his band. The possibility of sewing on a fringe and a tale involving acid, trepanning and Matthew Hopkins are just two of many laugh-out-loud moments, go check it out!

When i read that i quite enjoyed it at first, but as i made my way through it, i felt that he drifted off into what seemed to be endless whining. In turn, this made me feel that his self-deprication was being used to cover his bitterness at the Aueters not ever really breaking through.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: DrGonzo2411 on April 19, 2016, 08:12:49 AM
Bad Vibes (Britpop and my part in its downfall) by Luke Haines. Recommended by Monkey of this parish, I loved this book from start to finish. The Auteurs main man, I'd argue, is perhaps a better writer than he is musician. I say perhaps, as I've no real frame of reference for their output. Though they did enjoy a modicum of success during the 90s. Anyway, his acerbic wit, wry observations and wilful refusal to 'play the game' makes for a thoroughly enjoyable romp through that era of British music. Suede, Pulp, Oasis, Blur, the Verve, Elastica, Gene, Marion, the list of those who feel the full force of Haines' ire is almost endless, though he is equally scathing about himself and his band. The possibility of sewing on a fringe and a tale involving acid, trepanning and Matthew Hopkins are just two of many laugh-out-loud moments, go check it out!

When i read that i quite enjoyed it at first, but as i made my way through it, i felt that he drifted off into what seemed to be endless whining. In turn, this made me feel that his self-deprication was being used to cover his bitterness at the Aueters not ever really breaking through.

There's no doubt he was bitter, and was/is a difficult character to particularly like, but I never felt it got to the point where he was whining. Or if it did, the comic asides on his peers pulled it back for me.   
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on April 19, 2016, 10:04:47 AM
Maybe I just got tired of it and it made me think he was whining!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on June 16, 2016, 11:11:00 AM
This book looks promising:

http://www.reelartpress.com/catalog/edition/90/jazz-festival-jim-marshall
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on June 22, 2016, 10:51:01 AM
Just started Moses Ascending by Samuel Selvon. Would it have been better to read The Lonely Londoners first?

I've just got a recently published spanish translation of The lonely londoners, just hope the creole slang it's renowned for doesn't get totally lost or watered down in the process.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on June 28, 2016, 09:09:55 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51xve7SBIgL.jpg)


Good read.  Bit ay social context as a backdrop tae the Northern scene n' the author's enthusiasm fur soul music really shines through.


Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Soulstar on June 29, 2016, 07:17:14 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51xve7SBIgL.jpg)


Good read.  Bit ay social context as a backdrop tae the Northern scene n' the author's enthusiasm fur soul music really shines through.

I'm also on that, Laird. I was going to buy it - but won a signed copy in a raffle  on Sunday (makes a change to a leg of lamb). I loved Detroit 67 for the social context - and being from across the pond it had a certain "glamour" (albeit oppressive) - but I feel much more connected to this book. You're right about his enthusiasm - and although other "soul"  books have matched that recently, the quality of writing here seems to be a cut above.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Simon Bond on June 29, 2016, 10:22:13 PM
I like Cosgrove, he always holds your interest as he certainly knows his stuff when it comes to Soul . Stuart is just a very decent sort of guy. .
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on July 01, 2016, 03:50:17 PM

This was in the mailbox when I arrived home. Don't know yet what to expect, as I have no references about it except for the mention it got in the MC site, but I like the synopsis and the drawing style. The other mod-related graphic novel that comes to mind, Dave Gibbons' The Originals, was somehow a dissapointment for me, IMO the setting of the story in a near future was a missed opportunity and it added nothing to an average "youth gangs" plot (that's for sure the same thing that some surviving original mods think about people like us  ;D). Anyway, maybe someone here is interested, you can get via Amazon.

(http://i.imgur.com/vqeeS3k.jpg?1)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on July 01, 2016, 07:49:16 PM
My copy is on the way, so hopefully it'll be a good read. I could never understand why the Originals was set in the future, it didn't really add to the anything.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: BrianB on September 12, 2016, 06:34:01 PM
Almost done with the entire Ian Fleming Bond series.....interesting to read in "The Spy Who Loved Me" the description of the Vespa with  racks, leopard skin seat cover, and other accessories driven by the lead female character......
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on September 16, 2016, 03:57:16 PM
2 coffee-table books to help alleviate the unavoidable "back-to-school" adjustments:

(http://i.imgur.com/1KSCcYt.jpg?1)

First one is of course the catalog of the latest V&A exhibition that Martin has kindly offered to review. The second one is a photography book by one of the most relevant black photographers ever, the great Ted Williams:

(http://i.imgur.com/OU6UCXM.jpg?1)

He worked mainly in the US jazz scene between the late 40s and the 70s, so a lot of great pictures of the hard bop masters at their -sartorial, besides of creative- peak here, eg this masterful Art Blakey shot. Cooool: 

(http://i.imgur.com/aaEdocg.jpg?1)

Meanwhile, waiting for the upcoming Jim Marshall book.


Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on September 19, 2016, 03:35:55 PM
A few recently:

Beautiful Idiots and Brilliant Lunatics by Rob Baker.
Some of ya may know Rob's website Another Nickel In The Machine and this is articles (mainly?) from there. Well researched pieces about characters and places in London. Chapters on Georgie Fame at the Flamingo, Mary Quant and the mini-skirt, The Krays, David Hemmings and Blow Up, Mama Cass and Keith Moon etc. And some 'less Modculture' chapters. Fascinating book.

Living For Kicks by Jim McCarthy & Kevin Cross.
This is the 'Mods Graphic Novel' mentioned earlier in the thread. Difficult to judge in certain respects but overall I disliked it for the ludicrous storyline and the millionth portrayal of beach fighting pill popping idiots. And the illustration style (although that's probably personal taste).

1971 Never A Dull Moment by David Hepworth
Hepworth makes quite a convincing case for 1971 being the pinnacle of recorded music. I don't necessarily agree but he does put up a good case and also puts things in context nicely.

How To Listen To Jazz by Ted Gioia
Only just started this so too early to say whether it's gonna help a better appreciation or not. Possibly. Possibly not!

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on September 19, 2016, 04:32:42 PM
A few recently:


Living For Kicks by Jim McCarthy & Kevin Cross.
This is the 'Mods Graphic Novel' mentioned earlier in the thread. Difficult to judge in certain respects but overall I disliked it for the ludicrous storyline and the millionth portrayal of beach fighting pill popping idiots. And the illustration style (although that's probably personal taste).


I agree 100 %: weak plot (and bewildering sub-plots: what with the gay friend in drag?!!?), lazy drawing and a most un-mod lack of attention to detail, with lots of anachronisms and pointless, wasted cameos (Steve Marriott or GFame come to mind). It eludes me why so visual a subculture as modernism doesn't get the graphic novel it deserves.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on September 19, 2016, 06:34:41 PM
A few recently:


Living For Kicks by Jim McCarthy & Kevin Cross.
This is the 'Mods Graphic Novel' mentioned earlier in the thread. Difficult to judge in certain respects but overall I disliked it for the ludicrous storyline and the millionth portrayal of beach fighting pill popping idiots. And the illustration style (although that's probably personal taste).


I agree 100 %: weak plot (and bewildering sub-plots: what with the gay friend in drag?!!?), lazy drawing and a most un-mod lack of attention to detail, with lots of anachronisms and pointless, wasted cameos (Steve Marriott or GFame come to mind). It eludes me why so visual a subculture as modernism doesn't get the graphic novel it deserves.

Yep, totally. The gay/transvestite thing was frankly bizarre.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on September 30, 2016, 07:01:48 PM
It's here at last: the first in a Jim Marshall's book series by RAP. Just look at that cover: two of the coolest guys to walk on earth together:

(http://i.imgur.com/azNs93a.jpg?1)

BTW, the cover mimics a  classic Blue Note records cover. Sheer class  8)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on October 04, 2016, 04:54:54 PM
BTW I don't know if someone of this parish lives in NYC, but this event looks promising:

(http://i.imgur.com/LDNrfwk.jpg?1)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on October 31, 2016, 06:47:42 PM
Recently read a couple of Joseph Ridgwell:  Burrito Deluxe / Jamaica.  The man gets himself into some situations on his travels.

Also dipped into The Mersey Sound: the poetry of Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten.  Very accessible poetry giving a great snapshot of working class life in 60s northern England. 

Chester Himes: The Harlem Cycle vol 1 which collects the first three of his Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones stories. Set in Harlem and written in the 50s and 60s they are gritty crime thrillers with a thread of gallows humour running through them as they try to maintain law and order in their own inimitable style.  If anyone likes the sound of that then PM me and you can have the first one (A Rage In Harlem).  I already had a copy of that and it was cheaper for me to buy this trilogy than to start buying them separately.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on December 13, 2016, 04:06:04 PM
I'm trying to finish a HUGE (over 1.000 pages; luckily I've got the e-book version) history about the Romanov's dinasty; it may seem boring, but it includes lots of gore, sex, gossip, booze and unwanted trips to Siberia, with just some politics and economics thrown in for good measure.

Once the task is accomplished, two books wait their turn:

This bio of the Zombies, to my knowledge the only one that's been published up till now:

(http://i.imgur.com/Q4BkBpY.jpg?1)

And a novel, Nancy Mitford's  Don't tell Alfred. Yeah, I know she's the epitome of the posh, upper class english writer, but the story is set in late 50s Paris and the generation gap is among its main issues, so I'm sure there'll be lots of faux beatniks and teddy boys to be enjoyed.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on December 22, 2016, 10:57:07 AM
I've ordered this:

(http://i.imgur.com/Om4Jyb9.jpg?1)

It's the sequel of the Club 45 book by Alex Copper, frontman of Los Flechazos and a true modernist legend in Spain. Basically it consists in memorabilia from his huge archive on 60s pop music and culture. The fact that it's published in spanish could be a setback for the english only readers, but as it is fully illustrated I think it could be a nice addition to any discerning gentleman's library. I'm sure that at least Ady will be interested in this. 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 03, 2017, 10:38:57 AM
Just downloaded this for my Kindle:

(http://i.imgur.com/QlOdMpe.jpg?1)

At first sight, It looks particularly interesting for two reasons: first, it chronicles the history of postwar jazz in the USA, but not from the usual "holy cows" perspective (think Coltrane, Mingus, Monk or Miles Davis), but from the point of view of the musicians who had hits with the stuff in the black urban neighbourhoods, people who wasn't concerned about losing their "artistic integrity" by way of throwing r&b (or even rock'n'roll) into the mix. So individual chapters are devoted to Jimmy Smith (just look at the cover), Gene Ammons or organ combos. In fact, to my knowledge it's the first book that deals specifically with the subject (apart from the excellent "Cookin'", but that dealt with hard bop too). Second, the author, Bob Porter, certainly knows what he's talking about, as he was a producer for Prestige records in the late 60s (for more on this, see the link below).

http://www.jazzwax.com/2016/12/bob-porter-on-soul-jazz.html
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on January 03, 2017, 05:07:48 PM
I've ordered this:

(http://i.imgur.com/Om4Jyb9.jpg?1)

It's the sequel of the Club 45 book by Alex Copper, frontman of Los Flechazos and a true modernist legend in Spain. Basically it consists in memorabilia from his huge archive on 60s pop music and culture. The fact that it's published in spanish could be a setback for the english only readers, but as it is fully illustrated I think it could be a nice addition to any discerning gentleman's library. I'm sure that at least Ady will be interested in this.

Thanks for the nod; may well give that one a go.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 04, 2017, 10:34:21 AM
De nada, amigo  ;). Enjoy!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Monkey on January 07, 2017, 10:14:06 AM
That Soul Jazz book looks good greenstreet, thanks for flagging up.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 07, 2017, 12:27:02 PM
Cheers, Monkey, I guess it's just fair that key popular musicians as Smith or Buddy Johnson receive a deserved reappraisal of their merits and right place in jazz's history. I'm still amazed that no one has published so far a biography of Jimmy Smith (the man would make a great movie character too, with his infamous short temper and his fondness for martial arts). 
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on January 20, 2017, 04:15:56 PM
This was my brother's Xmas present. I knew McCann as a soul jazz pianist/singer but he's a gifted photographer too. Given the timespan in which the pics were taken (roughly 60s-70s), you can imagine the who's who of cool chicks and dudes on display. And in spite of what's implied in the subtitle, not only jazz and soul musicians are featured in the book, there's space for rock'n'roll stars, street shots or Hollywood icons as well.

(http://i.imgur.com/1pzSBX5.jpg?1)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on February 15, 2017, 06:18:48 PM
Embdy else read Sinatra biography "The Chairman" by James Kaplan?

Downloaded it oan tae ma Kindle a while back n' started readin' it a couple ay weeks ago but it's takin' ages tae get thru.  A decent read, but never imagined how long it wis when ah first opened it.  (Details fur the hardback paper version say it's ower a thousand pages long!).


 :-\
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Lad Craig on February 16, 2017, 01:28:15 PM

(http://i.imgur.com/zLcn8TW.jpg?1)

I'm sure I posted something about the publishing of this book some months ago, but I'm too lazy to browse through the thread so...

This is just an update for those of you who can be interested in it. I got in touch with the guy in charge at Easy on the Eye Books, Simon Robinson, and he's told me it's due to appear in what's left of 2015, tho' they still haven't an official date.

The thing is they were scanning the pics from prints of the era, but suddenly they discovered by chance that the photographer still kept a bunch of negatives at home, so they began scanning the lot and that's why the project has been delayed. I don't know how good it'll turn out to be in the end, but I'm going to keep my order through Amazon, it could well be the photography book of the year!

An update about this book appears now on the publisher's page:

https://easyontheeyebooks.wordpress.com/

Amazon gives a march 31st date for the publishing, and judging by the preliminar layout it'll be an essential addition to a well discerning modernist's library.

Apparently the art work is to be finalised next month for publishing in April 2017, let's hope it's worth the wait! Been put on the backburner due to other projects....
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on February 16, 2017, 04:16:23 PM
Look at the dates! Almost two years in the making. I too hope it finally appears this spring, fingers crossed!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on March 22, 2017, 06:15:29 PM
Just finished “Thrilling Cities”, Ian Fleming’s series of travel pieces written in 1959/1960, a time when many of the destinations would have been beyond the means of many people in Britain (Asia and the USA especially).  He brings an insight into the cities he visits, usually the racier, less conventional establishments, especially in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Macau, the descriptions of which I expect would have had some of his readers spluttering over their breakfast toast and marmalade when they were serialised in the Sunday Times.  On a modish note scooters are mentioned a couple of times:

“Returning to Vienna after so many years’ absence, I found two great changes for the worse: the appalling congestion and noise that have hit all the capital cities and they have a good name for the motor-scooter – Schlurfrakete – Spiv rocket” (Vienna)

“The whole psychology of the Italian, particularly of the Southern Italian, is based of far figura, to ‘cut a dash’.  With the advent of the motor-scooter, this posturing, previously expressed through flashy clothes, exaggerated tones of voice, expressions and gestures, has now been vastly reinforced by the attachment, apparently to every Italian male, of a chattering two-stroke engine, an electric horn, and an exhaust pipe.  The use of these instruments, known as ‘sputnikare’, gives him an even greater illusion of power.  The amount of noise he can make with his vehicle, particularly via the exhaust pipe, has come in some obscure way to represent a virility symbol” (Naples).
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on March 23, 2017, 08:47:59 PM
I'm currently reading a biography of The Creation. Interesting read so far. Very interesting how some hold them in such high regard, yet others, such as some fringe members of the band, don't really seem to rate them.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on April 20, 2017, 03:18:13 PM
I'm midway through Nick Hornby's "Funny Girl". Not related to "mod" beyond its setting in mid-60s London, the plot revolves around TV sitcoms. Light entertainment really, but enjoyable, and mr Hornby is still a skilled and witty dialoguist.

(http://i.imgur.com/oLjHSaO.jpg?1)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Stax on April 20, 2017, 07:19:10 PM
I'm reading Soho by Keith Waterhouse. Really enjoyable and although it seems to be set in a caricature of Soho, really makes you wish it hadn't been Costa'd.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on April 21, 2017, 10:36:30 AM
I'm midway through Nick Hornby's "Funny Girl". Not related to "mod" beyond its setting in mid-60s London, the plot revolves around TV sitcoms. Light entertainment really, but enjoyable, and mr Hornby is still a skilled and witty dialoguist.

(http://i.imgur.com/oLjHSaO.jpg?1)

I'm afraid I spoke too soon: some pages on certain Shel Talmy and Jimmy Page make a nice cameo in the novel, with Page recording an electric cover of Miles Davis' "Freddie Freeloader" as the opening theme for a TV show. How cool is that?
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 25, 2017, 04:26:59 PM
I'm midway through Nick Hornby's "Funny Girl". Not related to "mod" beyond its setting in mid-60s London, the plot revolves around TV sitcoms. Light entertainment really, but enjoyable, and mr Hornby is still a skilled and witty dialoguist.

(http://i.imgur.com/oLjHSaO.jpg?1)

I'm afraid I spoke too soon: some pages on certain Shel Talmy and Jimmy Page make a nice cameo in the novel, with Page recording an electric cover of Miles Davis' "Freddie Freeloader" as the opening theme for a TV show. How cool is that?
Good shout, tío; just ordered a copy.

Currently I have a couple of books on the go:
Beautiful Idiots & Brilliant Lunatics - Rob Baker. Originally these stories were published on the Another Nickel In The Machine blog and tit akes a sideways look at the often seamier side of London.  Fascinating and beautifully written and augmented with many a great photograph.
The Spy Paramount - E. Philips Oppenheim.  Published in the mid 30s, Oppenheim was an influence on Ian Fleming and in this novel the dashing hero, Martin Fawley, travels across Europe through its casinos and golf courses and cocktail parties.  It's a great thriller from a bygone era.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on April 26, 2017, 10:36:52 AM
I'm midway through Nick Hornby's "Funny Girl". Not related to "mod" beyond its setting in mid-60s London, the plot revolves around TV sitcoms. Light entertainment really, but enjoyable, and mr Hornby is still a skilled and witty dialoguist.

(http://i.imgur.com/oLjHSaO.jpg?1)

I'm afraid I spoke too soon: some pages on certain Shel Talmy and Jimmy Page make a nice cameo in the novel, with Page recording an electric cover of Miles Davis' "Freddie Freeloader" as the opening theme for a TV show. How cool is that?
Good shout, tío; just ordered a copy.

Currently I have a couple of books on the go:
Beautiful Idiots & Brilliant Lunatics - Rob Baker. Originally these stories were published on the Another Nickel In The Machine blog and tit akes a sideways look at the often seamier side of London.  Fascinating and beautifully written and augmented with many a great photograph.
The Spy Paramount - E. Philips Oppenheim.  Published in the mid 30s, Oppenheim was an influence on Ian Fleming and in this novel the dashing hero, Martin Fawley, travels across Europe through its casinos and golf courses and cocktail parties.  It's a great thriller from a bygone era.

Cheers, chaval! You won't be disappointed, it's a good read. I've always liked Hornby's novels, he works in a sort of "mid-depth" that suits me. Reviews were mixed about this one, but I've found it well constructed and moving.

The Rob Baker's book has been on my list for quite a while, I guess I'll pull the trigger after your endorsement.

Un saludo.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on April 26, 2017, 04:46:14 PM
Jala el gatillo, hombre; it's an excellent book.  Check out the website first that I mentioned for an idea.  The articles have been published on there but have been re-written with more research and more photos.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on April 26, 2017, 05:07:56 PM
Thanks, tio, I'll take a look at that blog. Cuídate.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Mo on April 30, 2017, 09:04:13 PM
A lil book on Paris. Part guide book,part history.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: ianeggbert on May 06, 2017, 07:43:54 PM
I know Philadelphia soul often gets a bad press due to its (later incarnation at least) links to the disco boom of the mid/late 70's, but this brilliant book by John A.Jackson is a hugely enjoyable and thoroughly well-researched history of the music and culture music from one of America's great cities. It chronicles not only the music through the 50's until recent times but also references the Civil Rights struggles and other relevant historical events. The links between all the major players is also fascinating; from Jerry Butler through to the meeting of Gamble, Huff and Thom Bell and the evolution of their songwriting craft and the often rocky path the characters followed to greatness (or not) and back again!     

For anyone with even the remotest interest in black music and culture, this is a must read

(http://i748.photobucket.com/albums/xx130/ianeggbert/738c8c63-08a6-470d-82e8-c859e0f68ac3_zpsz2bhzoe5.jpg) (http://s748.photobucket.com/user/ianeggbert/media/738c8c63-08a6-470d-82e8-c859e0f68ac3_zpsz2bhzoe5.jpg.html)


Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on May 07, 2017, 09:19:35 AM
I posted this a while ago, Ian, might be a good complement for your suggestion.

Maybe some soul scholar here finds this interesting:

(http://i.imgur.com/taQ2dL8.jpg?1)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: ianeggbert on May 07, 2017, 09:38:29 AM
I posted this a while ago, Ian, might be a good complement for your suggestion.

Maybe some soul scholar here finds this interesting:

(http://i.imgur.com/taQ2dL8.jpg?1)

Liking the look of that mate!

Thanks for the heads up - it's now on my ever growing, and virtually impossible to reduce, list of "stuff to buy"
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on June 15, 2017, 08:47:13 PM
I'm midway through Nick Hornby's "Funny Girl". Not related to "mod" beyond its setting in mid-60s London, the plot revolves around TV sitcoms. Light entertainment really, but enjoyable, and mr Hornby is still a skilled and witty dialoguist.

(http://i.imgur.com/oLjHSaO.jpg?1)

I'm afraid I spoke too soon: some pages on certain Shel Talmy and Jimmy Page make a nice cameo in the novel, with Page recording an electric cover of Miles Davis' "Freddie Freeloader" as the opening theme for a TV show. How cool is that?
Good shout, tío; just ordered a copy.

Currently I have a couple of books on the go:
Beautiful Idiots & Brilliant Lunatics - Rob Baker. Originally these stories were published on the Another Nickel In The Machine blog and tit akes a sideways look at the often seamier side of London.  Fascinating and beautifully written and augmented with many a great photograph.
The Spy Paramount - E. Philips Oppenheim.  Published in the mid 30s, Oppenheim was an influence on Ian Fleming and in this novel the dashing hero, Martin Fawley, travels across Europe through its casinos and golf courses and cocktail parties.  It's a great thriller from a bygone era.

Cheers, chaval! You won't be disappointed, it's a good read. I've always liked Hornby's novels, he works in a sort of "mid-depth" that suits me. Reviews were mixed about this one, but I've found it well constructed and moving.

The Rob Baker's book has been on my list for quite a while, I guess I'll pull the trigger after your endorsement.

Un saludo.

It started well but ran out of steam.  I thought that some of the characters could have been developed more.

Just pre-ordered this one set in the 60s, could be good...http://newhavenpublishingltd.com/?page_id=1337 (http://newhavenpublishingltd.com/?page_id=1337)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on June 18, 2017, 06:19:37 PM
Interesting, thanks for the heads up.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on August 07, 2017, 04:33:39 PM
Just finished The Axeman's Jazz by Ray Celestin.  It's 1919, New Orleans, and there's a serial killer at large.  It's a really good thriller evoking the seamy, sleazy side of the city.  Voodoo, jazz, bordellos, a young Louis Armstrong: what's not to like!

Today I've got the trilogy of Mark Gatiss' Lucifer Box novels.  "Redolent of soft leather chairs in fine gentleman's establishments, and the cracking of whips in the basements beneath them", reads the blurb on the back of one of them...
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on December 23, 2017, 05:12:29 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/mKLc3VZ.jpg?1)

(https://i.imgur.com/7O01umE.jpg?1)

I came across (and bought) these two delightful books in the huge New York's bookstore The Strand, and they're highly recommended. Both have to do with fashion and subcultures, and while "Cool" is more entertaining and useful tan essential, "Rebel threads" should be required reading for every pop culture aficionado out there, it's that good.

"Cool" is above all a useful and profusely illustrated summation of the youth subcultures from the 1920s to the 21st century, offering the basic data of every youth movement you can think of in double page spreads, even subcultures as little known as russian stilyagi or congolese bills.

On the downside, while the drawings aren't bad and serve their purpose, I miss the accuracy of proper photographs. Infomation is fairly basic too and while the authors get it broadly right I've spotted several mistakes and missed the oh-so important details that would have made the book a masterpiece (as in the chapter dedicated to mods/modernists)

But I woudn't like to sound too picky here, because as an introduction to the topic this book is unbeatable and an utter delight to flick through, thoroughly enjoyable. The icing on the cake are the music playlists featured that cover nicely all the periods and styles discussed in the book.

Meanwhile, "Rebel threads" (issued last october) is the best style book published in 2017 hands down. With more tan 1.000 photographs of period clothes and focused in the 20th century decades that run from the 50s to the 80s, its main source is the unbelievable vintage clothing collection of Roger K. Burton, the same guy who provided the "Quadrophenia" outfits, no less. Thus the accompanying text is accurate and insightful, but the star of the show are of course the pics. You're in for a treat if you get this one, fellas.

More details on it in the book's website (including a nice interview with the autor by Eddie Piller)

https://www.rebel-threads.com/

Oh, if someone is interested both books are pretty cheap now in Amazon.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Robin_Wick on January 08, 2018, 10:53:59 PM
Just picked up From Somewhere Out Of Here, the book on Mod in Birmingham and the Black Country during the 80s...

Some great info - heaps on clothes, playlists etc - but frustratingly few photographs... enjoying it, though!
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on April 10, 2018, 06:21:20 PM
I read some praise for this graphic novel months ago (it won, it seems, the prestigious Angouleme Bande Dessinee prize), but as it was just available in french, I passed on it... till today, when I've just learned a spanish translation is on its way, with a due date of late april.

It's set in 1967 France, with a coming of age story intertwined with a spy plot, two genres most of us love. Add to that a charming (or should it be "chic"?) retro drawing style and we have a winner. 

Oddly, there doesn't seem to be an english edition right now (still it's been translated to german and italian, that I'm aware of)

(https://i.imgur.com/Jpd2ATP.jpg?1)

Another fiction that uses 60s France (the Cote d'Azur during the summer, no less) as its backdrop is "Celeste 65", a novel by my fellow countryman José C. Vales. Having finished it just some weeks ago, I dare to state that it's a hugely enjoyable artifact that blends high culture and pop -even Mods get a mention!- to good effect, an unforgettable novel and a mastercourse in narrative structure. Highly recommended, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait till an english Publisher gives it a chance (Maybe too difficult for you, Ady? You can look inside in the Amazon page)


(https://i.imgur.com/5MoylhH.jpg?1)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on May 30, 2018, 12:01:08 PM
Two long-awaited ítems (one of them of course is a disc, not a book):

(https://i.imgur.com/c2whW22.jpg?1)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on June 05, 2018, 05:34:21 PM
I read some praise for this graphic novel months ago (it won, it seems, the prestigious Angouleme Bande Dessinee prize), but as it was just available in french, I passed on it... till today, when I've just learned a spanish translation is on its way, with a due date of late april.

It's set in 1967 France, with a coming of age story intertwined with a spy plot, two genres most of us love. Add to that a charming (or should it be "chic"?) retro drawing style and we have a winner. 

Oddly, there doesn't seem to be an english edition right now (still it's been translated to german and italian, that I'm aware of)

(https://i.imgur.com/Jpd2ATP.jpg?1)

Another fiction that uses 60s France (the Cote d'Azur during the summer, no less) as its backdrop is "Celeste 65", a novel by my fellow countryman José C. Vales. Having finished it just some weeks ago, I dare to state that it's a hugely enjoyable artifact that blends high culture and pop -even Mods get a mention!- to good effect, an unforgettable novel and a mastercourse in narrative structure. Highly recommended, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait till an english Publisher gives it a chance (Maybe too difficult for you, Ady? You can look inside in the Amazon page)


(https://i.imgur.com/5MoylhH.jpg?1)

Thank Greeny!  I have had a look inside on Amazon and I will order a copy.  I got the gist of what I read but I will need my dictionary at hand!!!

Yesterday I bought the new James Bond continuation novel Forever and a Day by Anthony Horwitz and it is excellent.  It is set before Fleming's first Bond novel and Horowitz really does capture Fleming's style and also the era in which it is set really rather well.  I'm about half way through it and am enjoying it as much as Trigger Mortis.  Recommended for any fans of the original novels.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on June 05, 2018, 06:06:53 PM
I read some praise for this graphic novel months ago (it won, it seems, the prestigious Angouleme Bande Dessinee prize), but as it was just available in french, I passed on it... till today, when I've just learned a spanish translation is on its way, with a due date of late april.

It's set in 1967 France, with a coming of age story intertwined with a spy plot, two genres most of us love. Add to that a charming (or should it be "chic"?) retro drawing style and we have a winner. 

Oddly, there doesn't seem to be an english edition right now (still it's been translated to german and italian, that I'm aware of)

(https://i.imgur.com/Jpd2ATP.jpg?1)

Another fiction that uses 60s France (the Cote d'Azur during the summer, no less) as its backdrop is "Celeste 65", a novel by my fellow countryman José C. Vales. Having finished it just some weeks ago, I dare to state that it's a hugely enjoyable artifact that blends high culture and pop -even Mods get a mention!- to good effect, an unforgettable novel and a mastercourse in narrative structure. Highly recommended, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait till an english Publisher gives it a chance (Maybe too difficult for you, Ady? You can look inside in the Amazon page)


(https://i.imgur.com/5MoylhH.jpg?1)

Thank Greeny!  I have had a look inside on Amazon and I will order a copy.  I got the gist of what I read but I will need my dictionary at hand!!!

Yesterday I bought the new James Bond continuation novel Forever and a Day by Anthony Horwitz and it is excellent.  It is set before Fleming's first Bond novel and Horowitz really does capture Fleming's style and also the era in which it is set really rather well.  I'm about half way through it and am enjoying it as much as Trigger Mortis.  Recommended for any fans of the original novels.


You're welcome, Ady, amigo mío. Keep in mind this is a challenge for any spanish learner, as the guy who wrote it is kind of a language wizard (tho' in contrast his style and grammar are fairly straightforward, with very short chapters, as if snapshots of each summer day), not shy to display a dazzling vocabulary. But I think the extra effort will be rewarded and you'll enjoy it (the cote d'azur 60s summer setting surely helps)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on June 06, 2018, 05:05:31 PM
I read some praise for this graphic novel months ago (it won, it seems, the prestigious Angouleme Bande Dessinee prize), but as it was just available in french, I passed on it... till today, when I've just learned a spanish translation is on its way, with a due date of late april.

It's set in 1967 France, with a coming of age story intertwined with a spy plot, two genres most of us love. Add to that a charming (or should it be "chic"?) retro drawing style and we have a winner. 

Oddly, there doesn't seem to be an english edition right now (still it's been translated to german and italian, that I'm aware of)

(https://i.imgur.com/Jpd2ATP.jpg?1)

Another fiction that uses 60s France (the Cote d'Azur during the summer, no less) as its backdrop is "Celeste 65", a novel by my fellow countryman José C. Vales. Having finished it just some weeks ago, I dare to state that it's a hugely enjoyable artifact that blends high culture and pop -even Mods get a mention!- to good effect, an unforgettable novel and a mastercourse in narrative structure. Highly recommended, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait till an english Publisher gives it a chance (Maybe too difficult for you, Ady? You can look inside in the Amazon page)


(https://i.imgur.com/5MoylhH.jpg?1)

Thank Greeny!  I have had a look inside on Amazon and I will order a copy.  I got the gist of what I read but I will need my dictionary at hand!!!

Yesterday I bought the new James Bond continuation novel Forever and a Day by Anthony Horwitz and it is excellent.  It is set before Fleming's first Bond novel and Horowitz really does capture Fleming's style and also the era in which it is set really rather well.  I'm about half way through it and am enjoying it as much as Trigger Mortis.  Recommended for any fans of the original novels.


You're welcome, Ady, amigo mío. Keep in mind this is a challenge for any spanish learner, as the guy who wrote it is kind of a language wizard (tho' in contrast his style and grammar are fairly straightforward, with very short chapters, as if snapshots of each summer day), not shy to display a dazzling vocabulary. But I think the extra effort will be rewarded and you'll enjoy it (the cote d'azur 60s summer setting surely helps)
Just placed an order for it as I found a UK seller.  Looking forward to it.  I need to push myself along with my Spanish and this will be a good opportunity.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ian_B on July 04, 2018, 01:03:49 PM

Yesterday I bought the new James Bond continuation novel Forever and a Day by Anthony Horwitz and it is excellent.  It is set before Fleming's first Bond novel and Horowitz really does capture Fleming's style and also the era in which it is set really rather well.  I'm about half way through it and am enjoying it as much as Trigger Mortis.  Recommended for any fans of the original novels.

Seconded, wholeheartedly !
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on July 04, 2018, 07:42:34 PM

Yesterday I bought the new James Bond continuation novel Forever and a Day by Anthony Horwitz and it is excellent.  It is set before Fleming's first Bond novel and Horowitz really does capture Fleming's style and also the era in which it is set really rather well.  I'm about half way through it and am enjoying it as much as Trigger Mortis.  Recommended for any fans of the original novels.

Seconded, wholeheartedly !

It's a belter, isn't it?!  Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on July 06, 2018, 10:16:14 AM
It's been quite a while since I pre-ordered this and here it is, just in time for holiday reading:

(https://i.imgur.com/Bj9lbJv.jpg?1)

Chock full of candid everyday life snapshots (B&W and colour) of mid-60s US:

(https://i.imgur.com/zZb9qtr.jpg?1)
Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: greenstreet on July 23, 2018, 04:06:53 PM
This has arrived just on time for the upcoming holidays. Far from your topical 60s stuff, it digs a lot deeper for 45s that didn't make it across the whole pop spectrum (not just garage or psych, lots of soul and girl group records too), but maybe the most appealing detail is the striking display of graphic ephemera (e-book wasn't an option this time!):


(https://i.imgur.com/CrAyv6Y.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/9uvMDky.jpg?1)





Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: The Laird of Enfield on July 23, 2018, 09:05:03 PM
Believe it or no ah saw the mighty Bo Diddley playin' a gig in Dundee in the early 80s.

Title: Re: The What Are You Reading Thread
Post by: Ady C on September 12, 2018, 04:32:02 PM
Scoundrels - The Hunt For Hansclapp.  Wonderfully funny book about the continuing adventures of adventurer-spies Major Cornwall and Major Trevelyan. Probably not everyone's cup of tea, here's the Amazon link with the look inside option.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Scoundrels-Hansclapp-Majr-Victor-Cornwall/dp/0995716323/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536769229&sr=1-1&keywords=scoundrels (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Scoundrels-Hansclapp-Majr-Victor-Cornwall/dp/0995716323/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536769229&sr=1-1&keywords=scoundrels)


(https://i.imgur.com/bl9JvZ0.jpg)