What are you reading right now?

Going through a bit of a rough time at the moment, so some comfort reading. Yes, the Complete McAuslan. Doesn't bother me that I know the stories practically word-for-word, they just make me smile.

Too many good lines to pick a favourite, but I did chuckle at Captain Errol saying that Cattenach was about to have kittenachs...
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
A serendipitous freebee, 'Survey by Starlight' is the personal account of 'Ralph Neville' (Lt Ralph Neville Stanbury DSC RN) of his time in the Med in Combined Ops Pilotage Parties. These were deployed in groups of half a dozen; Neville was CO of COPP5 and this is his story of surveying beaches on Sicily, the Gulf of Gioia, and Salerno and providing markers for the lead landing craft at the first and the last. The narrative is quite riveting at times although in proper RN fashion the risks and fears are understated. However swimming all alone off an enemy beach with them walking around, and knowing that capture means torture and death, is not how I would want to earn a living, and the demands on the COPPists navigational skills were also exceptional.

The author dates the account to March 1946. This is the first published edition from 1949. The book was republished in 1957 as a paperback, as 'Prelude to Assault' - the text is the same but the ppbk lacks the author's sketches. Fireword by Laycock, a name to conjure with in Combined Ops. Names (including names of submarines) in the book are not the real ones. For most of the actual people, see COPP Heroes - COPP 5
 
Reading “Declarations Of War” by Len Deighton.

Never heard of it before. I thought I had read all his books but spotted it in his bibliography on Wikipedia, hidden away, unlinked, in among the cookbooks and travel books.

About a dozen short stories covering different wars. Had WWII, WWI (from a German perspective) and Vietnam so far. Good book for dipping into if you have a spare 15 minutes to kill.
 
I'm currently reading American Sniper by Chris Kyle (RIP). It's a good read, but I'm strangely troubled by his attitude to newbies and hazing.
He writes in detail about 'choking the new guys out' as if that's some kind of test to pass, (these guys have all qualified as SEAL's), and mentions shaving off eyebrows and essentially duffing up the new guys, that in these more tolerant times, would have him thrown out.

Not a bad book, but he comes across as not a very pleasant individual.
I've read it twice & think its a very badly written book although he was a military type not a professional author. He does come across as a bit of a penis at times & its a very gung-ho, my country right or wrong jingoistic packed tome. Very much geared to its US audience.
 
'Accidental Warrior' by Geoffrey Picot

This is the autobiographical story of a 19-year old Channel Islander who was called up in May 1940. He was medically classified as 'C3' because he wore glasses and was posted to the RAPC. Later in the war, the medical criteria changed and, since he could see perfectly well with his glasses, he was reclassified as 'A1'. This opened the way for him to apply for a commission in the RA and he was subsequently posted to an anti-aircraft battery.

At the beginning of 1944, he was transferred to the infantry (the Luftwaffe threat had diminished and fewer personnel were needed in ack ack) and joined the 1st Btn The Hampshire Regiment. He landed in Normandy on D+2 and became OC Mortar Pln in Support Company. He served with the 1st Btn until the end of 1944, when he was transferred to 7 Hampshires as a rifle platoon commander. He served with them until the end of the war.

This is a fascinating book and is well worth reading. It's available from Amazon as both hardback and ebook and looks like it might be available through Goodreads:


Geoffrey Picot (Author of Accidental Warrior)
 
'Accidental Warrior' by Geoffrey Picot

This is the autobiographical story of a 19-year old Channel Islander who was called up in May 1940. He was medically classified as 'C3' because he wore glasses and was posted to the RAPC. Later in the war, the medical criteria changed and, since he could see perfectly well with his glasses, he was reclassified as 'A1'. This opened the way for him to apply for a commission in the RA and he was subsequently posted to an anti-aircraft battery.

At the beginning of 1944, he was transferred to the infantry (the Luftwaffe threat had diminished and fewer personnel were needed in ack ack) and joined the 1st Btn The Hampshire Regiment. He landed in Normandy on D+2 and became OC Mortar Pln in Support Company. He served with the 1st Btn until the end of 1944, when he was transferred to 7 Hampshires as a rifle platoon commander. He served with them until the end of the war.

This is a fascinating book and is well worth reading. It's available from Amazon as both hardback and ebook and looks like it might be available through Goodreads:


Geoffrey Picot (Author of Accidental Warrior)
If you enjoyed that try With The Jocks by Peter White a PC with the KOSB in NW Europe.
 
I am about to start reading this:

silent-invasion-3.jpg


Synopsis:

In 2008 Clive Hamilton was at Parliament House in Canberra when the Beijing Olympic torch relay passed through. He watched in bewilderment as a small pro-Tibet protest was overrun by thousands of angry Chinese students. Where did they come from? Why were they so aggressive? And what gave them the right to shut down others exercising their democratic right to protest? The authorities did nothing about it, and what he saw stayed with him.

In 2016 it was revealed that wealthy Chinese businessmen linked to the Chinese Communist Party had become the largest donors to both major political parties. Hamilton realised something big was happening, and decided to investigate the Chinese government’s influence in Australia. What he found shocked him.

From politics to culture, real estate to agriculture, universities to unions, and even in our primary schools, he uncovered compelling evidence of the Chinese Communist Party’s infiltration of Australia. Sophisticated influence operations target Australia’s elites, and parts of the large Chinese-Australian diaspora have been mobilised to buy access to politicians, limit academic freedom, intimidate critics, collect information for Chinese intelligence agencies, and protest in the streets against Australian government policy. It’s no exaggeration to say the Chinese Communist Party and Australian democracy are on a collision course. The CCP is determined to win, while Australia looks the other way.

Thoroughly researched and powerfully argued, ***Silent Invasion***is a sobering examination of the mounting threats to democratic freedoms Australians have for too long taken for granted. Yes, China is important to our economic prosperity; but, Hamilton asks, how much is our sovereignty as a nation worth?


I also witnessed the Australian Federal Police standing by when the pro-Tibet demonstration was monstered in Canberra in 2008, and it was an unpleasant experience. The author has a reputation as a bit of a 'greenie' but the subject of the book means, to me, it must be read.
 
'Accidental Warrior' by Geoffrey Picot
A very good book.

I've just started re-reading 'The Gardeners of Salonika' by Alan Palmer. One of the few general histories of the WW1 Macedonian campaign and a good read.
 
You'll like this Not a lot, currently reading. Joyce's Ulysses. apparently it was the in to read when I was a kid, and I never did. Given to me by LR Junior as he couldn't "get his head round it. Gotta be said it's a tad dated now and I think you have to have a certain knowledge, but I think it's funny. Especialy with his Beieinander and Nacheinanander
 
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Not so much a memoir as a history of the LAH using other people's diaries and such,on that part it's not a bad read but falls on its face as a personal account.
An unrepentant Nazi from East Prussia Kindler laps up the propoganda,accuses the Soviets of behaving like barbarians whilst never seeing anything untoward from his own side and basically accuses the U.S of fabricating the Malmedy massacre.
Like I say not a bad history of the LAH but if you don't read the last chapter you wouldn't think the Germans lost.
 
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A very good read,Wurst joined the NG at 15,then the regular army before joining the 82nd Airborne,then its off to North Africa were he takes part in the Italian campaign before moving to England for D-Day and all that followed.
It was nice to see that the Second World War in Europe wasn't won exclusively by the 101st
 
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Not so much a memoir as a history of the LAH using other people's diaries and such,on that part it's not a bad read but falls on its face as a personal account.
An unrepentant Nazi from East Prussia Kindler laps up the propoganda,accuses the Soviets of behaving like barbarians whilst never seeing anything untoward from his own side and basically accuses the U.S of fabricating the Malmedy massacre.
Like I say not a bad history of the LAH but if you don't read the last chapter you wouldn't think the Germans lost.
Take a like for irony
 
sorry.
Issues are,
Why does he have to repent and what would be the the logic, if he believes what he writes. repentance is only valid if genuinely meant. Annecdotally the Russians have always acted barbarically as happened to my family testifies and I couldn't resist a chuckle "You wouldn't have thought the Germans lost." Viewed 70 years later-one wonders, not that they didn't lose of course- but these days with Putin knocking around it does sound a tad Phyrric. No offence. Incidentally 13th March 1945 was German Grandad's anniversary.
 
sorry.
Issues are,
Why does he have to repent and what would be the the logic, if he believes what he writes. repentance is only valid if genuinely meant. Annecdotally the Russians have always acted barbarically as happened to my family testifies and I couldn't resist a chuckle "You wouldn't have thought the Germans lost." Viewed 70 years later-one wonders, not that they didn't lose of course- but these days with Putin knocking around it does sound a tad Phyrric. No offence. Incidentally 13th March 1945 was German Grandad's anniversary.
As an unrepentant Nazi the world would have been a better place if he had died,as for the Soviets acting like barbarians after the way the Germans treated them it's hardly surprising.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
Mrs S' library book, 'Mansions of Misery' by Jerry White, 'An Autobiography of the Marshalsea'. A fascinating account (for me anyway) of what life (and, not unusually death, through disease or sometimes starvation - how does someone who's broke pay for his food?) in 18th & 19th century debtors' prisons, focusing on the Marshalsea and presenting some personal reminiscences, and accounts of (often strange) individuals committed to it, from its earliest traceable years to its closure in 1842. The sheer squalor, hardship, and crookedness of all at every level is hard to beat (and was harder still to survive).
 
You'll like this Not a lot, currently reading. Joyce's Ulysses. apparently it was the in to read when I was a kid, and I never did. Given to me by LR Junior as he couldn't "get his head round it. Gotta be said it's a tad dated now and I think you have to have a certain knowledge, but I think it's funny. Especialy with his Beieinander and Nacheinanander
I found it essential to have some Notes to read alongside - e.g. SparkNotes: Ulysses
 
I found it essential to have some Notes to read alongside - e.g. SparkNotes: Ulysses
Yep the version does have an intro, but I've decided to omit them. but I am actually into it and am just able to grasp the sentiment by various references, many of which I've vaguely heard of. If you were born in the fifties certain things still obtained. I just pissed me self over the funeral cortege and am now into the News paper production side. " In Nomine Damine". It's a pity that it's so much a book of it's time that modernists could never really grasp it.
 
I've just started a 'new' piece of fiction. I say 'new' as I have read it in the past before I realised that it was the fourth in a series. So I am re-reading it in the correct sequence.

the-queen-of-patpong.jpg
 

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