What are you reading right now?

''All quiet on the home front'', an oral history of life in Britain during the first world war.
I had no idea that the home front in WW1 was sometimes so bad. As a child i often heard tales of rationing and Doodle bugs in WW2 but i was totally unaware of how bad things were in WW1 rationing ,Gotha raids etc.
How ''typically British'' to make the same mistake twice with under estamating the U boat threat.
 
The Storm Before The Storm, Mike Duncan


A history of Rome set in a specific period: 146 - 78BC, which covers the start of the decline of the Republic, or, rather, the set of players, arenas and circumstances that made it so much easier for Pompey, Caesar and Crassus to fatally undermine the Republic so much so that Caesar could become Dictator for Life eventually leading to the first Princeps of Octavius/Augustus and all that followed..

It's a colloquial read and refreshing for all that. If you've listened to Duncan's podcasts then you'll know what to expect. I'm halfway through and thoroughly enjoying it, particularly as this period doesn't get the attention that post-Caesar does.
 

It's probably an Amazon one. This site is aggressively bad at showing those, particularly if you are using the Chrome browser.
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
TODAY Mrs BHP bought her regular Family Tree magazine for just under £6 but lo and behold is came with: a free copy of
Tracing Your Secret Service Ancestors by Phil Tomaselli. ( Amazon £12.00 this evening )
Did you have a spy in the family, an ancestor who was involved in espionage at home or abroad? If you have ever had any suspicions about the secret activities of your relatives, or are curious about the long hidden history of Britain's secret services and those who served in them, this is the book for you. Phil Tomaselli's fascinating guide to over 200 years of British spies and spying takes the reader on a journey through the twilight world of the secret intelligence organizations Britain has run since the time of the French Revolution to the modern day, and it shows where their records can be found.
I have only skimmed thorough it so far but it seems spot on. I had to do some research on MI9 a few years back and would have found this book handy to have. It was published in 2009 by like all good history books it is still up to the mark .
 
Tom Clancy: Power and Empire.

Mr Clark almost goes postal, Ding and the youngsters work hard at saving the world with young Ryan being well into things.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
Margaret Thatcher - 'The Path to Power', 1995, prequel to 'The Downing Street Years'. Chronicles the lady's life, her becoming an MP, minister and shadow minister, Leader of the Opposition and finally winner of the 1979 GE. The eerie thing is that many of today's issues, from Europe to immigration and welfare dependency, were hot in the seventies and have got worse. As Leader of the Conservatives MT knew what needed to be done - and in the case of Trades Unions (who had brought us close to collapse with mining strikes & the 3-day week) and privatisation largely succeeded - but was undermined by senior pseudo-Tories at every step, cowardly liberal wets with a yearning for the same old solutions that didn't work like prices and incomes policies which instead only produced galloping inflation. MT explains everything in great detail including the economic idiocies and failures of the Socialist and crypto-Socialist post-war governments with a focus on Wilson, Heath and finally Callaghan where the whole delusion - and the country - collapsed into the Winter of Discontent. Part Two reviews the 90s after MT was betrayed and forced out and discusses what 1996 was likely to look like. The whole thing is a fascinating and privileged insight into our history 1955-1979.

Hardback with dust cover £2 in a charity shop, with autograph from some book-signing session. Mrs S found a similar signed copy going on e-bay for £30. 600+pp.
 
I've had two books on the trot for the past few months which now merit some comment. ''Lines in the Sand' and 'Pour me a Life' both authored by AA Gill. They're companion books in a manner of phrase, an author in his professional world of earning while the other unequivocally gives a good measure of insight to his families and his part in their worlds.

I have an especial regard for this wordsmith. To me, he's a Victor Hugo, Kipling, Wodehouse encyclopaedia of descriptive turns of phrase ; pathos and humour in perfect harmony. He has the camera eyes of a McCullin and an Anthony Armstrong-Jones.

He's a commentator on life that the @Gimp would aspire to be :)

A 'Line in the Sand' is about his journalist efforts for his income support, covering only the years 2011 > Dec. 2016 when he died of cancer. A myriad of heart rendering and side splitting anecdotes of professional contracts over this particular phase, from the Rohingyas to the Magpie Cafe in Whitby - ( "Whitby appears like a William Blake doodle over the North York Moors")

A 'Pour me a Life' covers wot it says on the tin. Elegiac and forthright. Je ne regrette rien. Stunning!
 
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In an end of line Bookshop today and just could not resist this ....

2018 WW! Tank WL.jpg


.... had a quick look at the contents before buying and it obviously seemed interesting .... but for £6 even if it just gives a couple of hours enjoyment before it gets given to a Charity Shop a snip .
 
I've had two books on the trot for the past few months which now merit some comment. ''Lines in the Sand' and 'Pour me a Life' both authored by AA Gill. They're companion books in a manner of phrase, an author in his professional world of earning while the other unequivocally gives a good measure of insight to his families and his part in their worlds.

I have an especial regard for this wordsmith. To me, he's a Victor Hugo, Kipling, Wodehouse encyclopaedia of descriptive turns of phrase ; pathos and humour in perfect harmony. He has the camera eyes of a McCullin and an Anthony Armstrong-Jones.

He's a commentator on life that the @Gimp would aspire to be :)

A 'Line in the Sand' is about his journalist efforts for his income support, covering only the years 2011 > Dec. 2016 when he died of cancer. A myriad of heart rendering and side splitting anecdotes of professional contracts over this particular phase, from the Rohingyas to the Magpie Cafe in Whitby - ( "Whitby appears like a William Blake doodle over the North York Moors")

A 'Pour me a Life' covers wot it says on the tin. Elegiac and forthright. Je ne regrette rien. Stunning!
I've always loved his bit in his column about shooting a Baboon. Couldn't remember word for word so I've had to resort to Wikipedia but still...

"I know perfectly well there is absolutely no excuse for this", he wrote, and that he killed the animal to "get a sense of what it might be like to kill someone, a stranger". He went on to state, "[T]hey die hard, baboons. But not this one. A soft-nosed .357 blew his lungs out"
 
Just finished Mr Mercers (MP) tome, We Were Warriors.
An excellent read with some very insightful commentary by his nibs. Good on the bloke. Highly recommended.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Just started reading 'He' by John Connolly, who is best known for his Charlie Parker thrillers. This book is novel and a sort of biography of Stan Laurel. Only started it today but already I'm fascinated by it.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Being stuck in hossie, with only my Kindle yesterday I enjoyed Terry Pratchett's
' The Truth'

which draws on his experience as a journalist and then Press officer for the CEGB.

A wry look at the ephemeral world of daily press. Vetinari goes to jail after apparently stabbing his clerk.
 
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In readiness of the third book released on the 18th rereading Betrayal by A Riches with Onslaught waiting patiently. If you ignore football a book within two days is feasible.
 

skid2

LE
Book Reviewer
Has anyone any recommendations on something on ‘Israel and Iran ’?
All I seem to be getting are end of the world, biblical scenarios
Ta
 
How To Build A Car, by Adrian Newey who is arguably the best Formula 1 designer ever. An autobiography that should appeal to any F1 fan whether they follow it for the engineering or to adulate the drivers as there is something for both. A bit short on photos but long on engineering drawings explaining how the loopholes in the regulations were exploited. There is an extensive chapter on the death of Ayrton Senna and the investigation into why the car crashed that should put to rest the conspiracy theories and those who believe the steering column broke causing the crash.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Has anyone any recommendations on something on ‘Israel and Iran ’?
All I seem to be getting are end of the world, biblical scenarios
Ta

These are very good.
 

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