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My Favorite Book Ever!


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Author Topic: My Favorite Book Ever!  (Read 867 times)
DazzaMc
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« on: February 02, 2009, 03:41:30 pm »

Bill Brysons "A Short History of Nearly Everything"
Bryson describes graphically and in layman's terms the size of the universe, and that of atoms and subatomic particles. He then explores the history of geology and biology, and traces life from its first appearance to today's modern humans, placing emphasis on the development of the modern Homo sapiens. Furthermore, he discusses the possibility of the Earth being struck by a meteor, and reflects on human capabilities of spotting a meteor before it impacts the Earth, and the extensive damage that such an event would cause.

He also focuses on some of the most recent destructive disasters of volcanic origin in the history of our planet, including Krakatoa and Yellowstone National Park. A large part of the book is devoted to relating humorous stories about the scientists behind the research and discoveries and their sometimes eccentric behaviours. Bryson also speaks about modern scientific views on human effects on the Earth's climate and livelihood of other species, and the magnitude of natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and the mass extinctions caused by some of these events.
“Stylish [and] stunningly accurate prose. We learn what the material world is like from the smallest quark to the largest galaxy and at all the levels in between . . . brims with strange and amazing facts . . . destined to become a modern classic of science writing.”
—The New York Times

“Bryson has made a career writing hilarious travelogues, and in many ways his latest is more of the same, except that this time Bryson hikes through the world of science.”
—People

“Bryson is surprisingly precise, brilliantly eccentric and nicely eloquent . . . a gifted storyteller has dared to retell the world’s biggest story.”
—Seattle Times

“Hefty, highly researched and eminently readable.”
—Simon Winchester, The Globe and Mail

“All non-scientists (and probably many specialized scientists, too) can learn a great deal from his lucid and amiable explanations.”
—National Post

"Bryson is a terrific stylist. You can’t help but enjoy his writing, for its cheer and buoyancy, and for the frequent demonstration of his peculiar, engaging turn of mind.”
—Ottawa Citizen

“Wonderfully readable. It is, in the best sense, learned.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
 
 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Short_History_of_Nearly_Everything



« Last Edit: February 09, 2009, 09:41:35 pm by DazzaMc » Report Spam   Logged

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Lovelee
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2009, 05:55:41 pm »

The Clan of the Cave Bear

Its an historical fiction novel by Jean M. Auel. It is the first in the Earth's Children series that investigates the possibility of Neanderthal and modern Cro-Magnon humans living near each other at the same time.



The story begins with a 5-year old girl who is suddenly orphaned and left homeless by an earthquake that destroys her family's camp. She wanders aimlessly, naked and unable to feed herself, for several days until, having been attacked and nearly killed by a cave lion and suffering from starvation, exhaustion, and infection of her wounds, she collapses, on the verge of death.

The narrative switches to a group of people—the "Clan"—who have also been made homeless by the destruction of their cave in the earthquake and are trekking in search of a new home. Alerted by vultures circling above the unconscious child, the medicine woman of the group, Iza, asks permission from Brun, the head of the Clan, to rescue the waif. Iza uses her wide knowledge of healing herbs and procedures in order to nurse the little girl back to life. When she regains consciousness, the girl is shocked to find that her rescuers are physically quite different from people with whom she is familiar: they are Neanderthal whilst she is of the Cro-Magnon people (known to her rescuers as the "Others").
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DazzaMc
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2009, 06:03:22 pm »

Oh SNAP!!!

Clan of the Cave Bear ROCKED!!!



The story begins with a 5-year old girl who is suddenly orphaned and left homeless by an earthquake that destroys her family's camp. She wanders aimlessly, naked and unable to feed herself, for several days until, having been attacked and nearly killed by a cave lion and suffering from starvation, exhaustion, and infection of her wounds, she collapses, on the verge of death.

The narrative switches to a group of people—the "Clan"—who have also been made homeless by the destruction of their cave in the earthquake and are trekking in search of a new home. Alerted by vultures circling above the unconscious child, the medicine woman of the group, Iza, asks permission from Brun, the head of the Clan, to rescue the waif. Iza uses her wide knowledge of healing herbs and procedures in order to nurse the little girl back to life. When she regains consciousness, the girl is shocked to find that her rescuers are physically quite different from people with whom she is familiar: they are Neanderthal whilst she is of the Cro-Magnon people (known to her rescuers as the "Others").

Various aspects of the differences between the Clan and the Others are brought out in the story. The Neanderthals' vocal apparatus is incapable of the range of vocalizations that the Cro-Magnons' is and members of the Clan cannot understand, far less pronounce, the girl's name: the closest they get to it (and the name by which she is subsequently known) is "Ayla". However, the Neanderthals are portrayed as having a highly-developed non-verbal language of hand and arm gestures which Ayla at first has difficulty even recognising the existence of. She has been raised with Clan customs, not to laugh or smile, and not to cry. She breaks many Clan customs while growing up she secretly watches the men, picks up a weapon, learns how to use a weapon and runs off with her child to save him from being put to death.

Apart from physical differences there are mental and cultural differences between the Clan and the Others. Mentally, the Neanderthals have highly developed memories including a hereditary Clan memory extending back through countless generations, which can be awakened through rituals performed by the Clan's "Mog-ur"—a holy man or Shaman. Increasing reliance on this ever-accumulating memory has resulted in a strict, almost hide-bound adherence to tradition and decreasing ability to adapt which—the book makes clear—will result in the eventual demise of this branch of humanity.

Apart from Ayla and Iza, the character of "Creb", the Mog-ur, is most developed and significant in the book. Born with deformities which would normally have resulted in his being abandoned to die as an infant, he fortuitously was allowed to live and despite—or rather as a result of—his handicap, developed supreme mental and psychic abilities. As a child he was attacked by a Cave Bear, which added to his infirmities but was regarded as being a blessing from the most highly revered and powerful spirit of the Clan people, who regard not just their own group but all people of their kind as an encompassing 'Clan of the Cave Bear'. Creb's abilities are such that he is not only his own group's Mog-ur but "The Mog-ur" of the entire extended clan of Neanderthal peoples in the region. Although Creb's powers—and deformities—are such that he is revered and feared by other members of his clan, he is touched by the practically helpless foundling, who encounters him with none of the awe or apprehension of other clan members, and Ayla and Creb establish a close surrogate father/daughter relationship.

The novel follows Ayla's development from child to young woman, illustrating en route various aspects of the Clan's way of life: hunting and gathering, mating, and social relationships, rituals, taboos, beliefs, and environment. A thread running through the book is the antagonistic relationship between Ayla and Broud, son of the leader, Brun, and appointed successor as leader of the clan. This interaction culminates with his raping and impregnating Ayla. The offspring is considered 'deformed', although he is simply a mix. He is unexpectedly accepted by the Clan, and he is called Durc. The book ends with Broud's succession and his banishment of Ayla, who sets off to find other people of her own kind as Iza, on her deathbed, had urged Ayla to do. She is not allowed to take her son with her, a tragic event that scars Ayla for the rest of the series.

Havent read it?

Click here to buy it!







« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 09:21:54 pm by DazzaMc » Report Spam   Logged

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Brownie55
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OK, so what’s the speed of dark?


« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2009, 06:31:48 pm »

I loved the whole Clan Of The cave bear Series but Jean Auel is so slow at producing books. The last one
" The Shelters of Stone " was 9 years in the making . Jean is currently writing the 6th book in the Earth's Children series. 
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Lovelee
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2009, 06:47:18 pm »

Yeh but she lost the pizzaz by the 3rd one.
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Brownie55
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OK, so what’s the speed of dark?


« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2009, 07:49:58 pm »

Yep, and the last one took about a 3rd of the book to get through one day. Still you got to keep reading them.
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k1w14ever
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2009, 09:22:41 pm »

Harry Potter series.
I did not read alot as a kid cos I could'nt read well but in the last 12 years I have read heaps.  It opens you up into a whole new world.
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TokGal
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2009, 05:16:23 am »

When The Lion Feeds by Wilbur Smith.

Because it started me off reading everything he has done, and I loved every one!
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2009, 06:23:41 am »

Ahh yeh Tok I used to read his books .. and then they all started being the same - the story line was the same in each book - just the names and places were changed to protect the ficticious characters. 
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Laughter is the best medicine, unless you've got a really nasty case of syphilis, in which case penicillin is your best bet.
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2009, 10:05:46 am »

whatever i am reading at the moment becomes my favourite book ever.
and who the hell added an American spellchecker. We speak English here, not American
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sparkels
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2009, 05:12:30 pm »

I'm the same, whatever book I'm reading is the best one at the time.

Margaret George is one of my favourite authors: she wrote "Mary Queen of Scots", "Mary Magdalene", and "The Six Wives of King Henry the 8th" ... all three are really thick meaty books, and each time I read one, I felt I was right there in that time frame, in that room with her characters.   Just wonderful.  Smiley

I read 'Clan of the Cave Bear' too and loved it.
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2009, 08:17:32 pm »

I've got more than one favourite.
Diana Gabeldon's 'Crossstitch' and the follow on books.
Kate Atkinson's 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum' and all her books since.
Meg Henderson's 'Holy City' about the bombings of Clydebank during WW2.  Probably because I've been there and interested in the history because Mr F is a 'bankie'
and all of Roddy Doyles books.

If I had to pick one favourite, it would probably be 'Crossstitch'.   I could not bring myself to touch a standing stone anywhere in Scotland....just in case.   


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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2009, 06:34:15 pm »

I LOVE Kate Atkinson too!  Have you read "Case Histories" Ferny?

Another fav is Tracy Chevalier who wrote, 'The Girl with a Pearl Earring', which was made into the movie starring Scarlett Johannson, and 'The Virgin Blue' .. Below is what she had printed to explain her novel.

'As yellow is always accompanied with light, so it may be said that blue brings a principle of darkness with it.

This colour has a peculiar and almost indescribably effect on the eye.  As a hue it is powerful, but it is on the negative side, and in its highest purity it is a stimulating negation.  Its (blue) appearance, then, is a kind of contradiction between excitement and repose.'

Goethe, Theory of Colours.
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2009, 07:56:24 pm »

Yes I have Sparkelz.    Have you read her latest one  'When Will There Be Good News' and the one before that 'One Good Turn"  They all feature the detective Jackson Brodie.
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2009, 05:34:02 pm »

I've read 'One Good Turn'.  She's a great writer.  What about  Alice Seabold, Ferny? .. she wrote 'The Lovely Bones' .. which is being made into a film, directed by Stephen Speilberg.   
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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2009, 09:11:00 pm »

Thanks Sparkels.  I'll look out for that.     
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« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2009, 05:18:59 am »

Im a Wilbur Smith fan, read all his African stuff at high school, tries Umberto Eco once, Foucaults Pendulum was orsum but he made it clear he hates Islam thats for sure. Lately Im into Liyosaki and the Donald. Zig Zigler, Brian Tracy and Tonty Robbins to name a few.
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Lets kill all the warmongers.

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