What are you reading right now?

Whining Civvy

Old-Salt
The Vindolanda series by Adrian Goldsworthy are a good read for those who enjoy Roman fiction in this case written by a historian who manages to write a pretty good thriller
I thought Vindolanda was pretty good, but his other books about (if I remember rightly) the Napoleonic wars weren't too great. Lots of buildup to pretty flat battle scenes.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
With the finding of both the Kormoran and Sydney wrecks, the accounts given by the German survivors' has proven accurate. The captain of the Sydney unforgivably allowed his ship to close within a mile of the Cormorant, which in reality was just as heavily armed as the Sydney, and the subsequent ambush was devastating. There are now some excellent books on the demise of the Sydney and a very good one on the search for her remains.
The book I've referenced tried to explain how Sydney got that close. It's not such an open and shut story.
 
The book I've referenced tried to explain how Sydney got that close. It's not such an open and shut story.
No, the same captain had nearly shelled a neutral ship not long before and was determined not to repeat the mistake. However, he allowed his ship's safety to be compromised and paid the penalty for that.
 
Just finished reading a book given to me by LR jr for dads Day
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Bit tongue in cheek it has to be said but interesting and funny by turns. Nothing really new, just the linkages made. Certainly worth a Gander.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
Re-read 'Room at the Top' by John Braine (1957, this is my 1959 Penguin copy). In the fifties it was I suppose a current masterpiece - now it's a window on a vanished world. I do wonder if Braine drank as much as his hero. VG read, still. 'Twere reet gradely.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
'The World's Worst Aircraft', Jim Winchester 2005. Elegantly illustrated catalogue of >150 aircraft several of which should never have flown at all and some didn't, and several which were a 'clever' idea that nobody wanted, or were so long in the egg that the market had gone away. Goes back to the earliest days (Bleriot) and forward to today with millions of dollars poured down the open drain of turf wars and individuals' ambitions and not a few fatalities. The only sign that this copy had been read was that the price tag had been neatly clipped off the dust cover.
 
New fiction read started last night:

black-out-34.jpg


Synopsis:
John Lawton’s debut novel: a stunning, WWII thriller introducing Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant Troy. “A delightful, intelligent, involving book” (Scott Turow).

The first of the Inspector Troy novels, *Black Out *singularly captures the realities of wartime London, weaving them into a riveting drama that encapsulates the uncertainty of Europe at the dawn of the postwar era.

London, 1944. While the Luftwaffe makes its final assault on the already battered British capital, Londoners rush through the streets, seeking underground shelter in the midst of the city’s black out. When the panic subsides, other things begin to surface along with London’s war-worn citizens . . .

A severed arm is discovered by a group of children playing at an East End bomb site, and when Scotland Yard’s Det. Sgt. Frederick Troy arrives at the scene, it becomes apparent that the dismembered body is not the work of a V-1 rocket. After Troy manages to link the severed arm to the disappearance of a refugee scientist from Nazi Germany, America’s newest intelligence agency, the OSS, decides to get involved. The son of a titled Russian émigré, Troy is forced to leave the London he knows and enter a corrupt world of bloody consequences, stateless refugees, and mysterious women as he unearths a chain of secrets leading straight to the Allied high command.

“An exciting, fast-moving mystery set against the backdrop of the London blitz in 1944.” —Booklist
 
New fiction read started last night:

View attachment 401767

Synopsis:
John Lawton’s debut novel: a stunning, WWII thriller introducing Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant Troy. “A delightful, intelligent, involving book” (Scott Turow).

The first of the Inspector Troy novels, *Black Out *singularly captures the realities of wartime London, weaving them into a riveting drama that encapsulates the uncertainty of Europe at the dawn of the postwar era.

London, 1944. While the Luftwaffe makes its final assault on the already battered British capital, Londoners rush through the streets, seeking underground shelter in the midst of the city’s black out. When the panic subsides, other things begin to surface along with London’s war-worn citizens . . .

A severed arm is discovered by a group of children playing at an East End bomb site, and when Scotland Yard’s Det. Sgt. Frederick Troy arrives at the scene, it becomes apparent that the dismembered body is not the work of a V-1 rocket. After Troy manages to link the severed arm to the disappearance of a refugee scientist from Nazi Germany, America’s newest intelligence agency, the OSS, decides to get involved. The son of a titled Russian émigré, Troy is forced to leave the London he knows and enter a corrupt world of bloody consequences, stateless refugees, and mysterious women as he unearths a chain of secrets leading straight to the Allied high command.

“An exciting, fast-moving mystery set against the backdrop of the London blitz in 1944.” —Booklist
I like Lawton’s work, he writes a good un
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
Away from home so packed a few old Penguins -

The Day It Rained Forever, Ray Bradbury. SF short stories from 1958 - those about rockets and Mars are, technically speaking, horribly dated but even in them there is usually a very inventive look at the human condition.

Lanterns and Lances, James Thurber 1959 ish. Basically an anthology of his later magazine articles Always a fan of his dry humour and 100% with him about damage being done to the English language examples of which he sends up very sharply. A few pot boilers and some a bit rambling but still vg overall.

Now starting the Thurber Carnival, selections of short pieces from several different publications going right back (he born 1894). Aunt Wilma who thought electricity leaked out of sockets if there wasn't a bulb in and so forth.

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Also recently re-read (because I'm about to lend them to my brother so shall I see them again ??)

The M Room by Helen Fry:

and Soldaten:
which has a lot of psychology stuff to skip through, what matters in both books is the exact evidence of non-SS participation in the deliberate murder of defenceless prisoners, particularly Jews, including women and tiny children.

As an aside Tent Park which was the first and chief UK PoW bugging centre was once in the hands of a forebear of mine who bought it by accident due to waking up with a start when it was being auctioned, which was taken as the winning bid.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Away from home so packed a few old Penguins -

The Day It Rained Forever, Ray Bradbury. SF short stories from 1958 - those about rockets and Mars are, technically speaking, horribly dated but even in them there is usually a very inventive look at the human condition.

Lanterns and Lances, James Thurber 1959 ish. Basically an anthology of his later magazine articles Always a fan of his dry humour and 100% with him about damage being done to the English language examples of which he sends up very sharply. A few pot boilers and some a bit rambling but still vg overall.

Now starting the Thurber Carnival, selections of short pieces from several different publications going right back (he born 1894). Aunt Wilma who thought electricity leaked out of sockets if there wasn't a bulb in and so forth.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Also recently re-read (because I'm about to lend them to my brother so shall I see them again ??)

The M Room by Helen Fry:

and Soldaten:
which has a lot of psychology stuff to skip through, what matters in both books is the exact evidence of non-SS participation in the deliberate murder of defenceless prisoners, particularly Jews, including women and tiny children.

As an aside Tent Park which was the first and chief UK PoW bugging centre was once in the hands of a forebear of mine who bought it by accident due to waking up with a start when it was being auctioned, which was taken as the winning bid.
Thurber is always refreshing to read, in an nostalgic frame of mind. I've been re-reading some of Patrick Campbell's old output. Again, mostly collections of his essays, and most amusing they are too.
 
I've been re-reading some of Patrick Campbell's old output. Again, mostly collections of his essays, and most amusing they are too.
Now there's a personality I vividly remember his tv appearances in the '60's with that generation of Lady Isobel Barnets and Gilbert Hardings. Especially noticeable for his anecdotes spoken in his very unique 'stammer' speech pattern delivery which added another dimension to a very funny tale. A lovely man.
 
I've finished Fair Game by Valerie Plame Wilson - not often a book makes me angry.

Thanks to a tip from this thread, I'm now into this, all 1,212 pages:

final-solution-11.jpg
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Now there's a personality I vividly remember his tv appearances in the '60's with that generation of Lady Isobel Barnets and Gilbert Hardings. Especially noticeable for his anecdotes spoken in his very unique 'stammer' speech pattern delivery which added another dimension to a very funny tale. A lovely man.
Indeed he was, and his books are equally funny; especially if you mentally reproduce his voice.
 
Just started The Fort by Bernard Cornwall a novel based on a true story during The American War of Independence, featuring actual real life characters as well as fictional.
When I say just started I mean just that, read the first chapter and I’m glad to say it feels like it’s going to be a damn good read like all his books are.
Ta for the info.
Love Sharpe and Uthred but have struggled with his other stuff.
 
Fecking hell. You used to be able to get them new for 20p. Read about a hundred of them when I was a teenager. Calamity Jane and Belle Starr may have featured in several fantasies.

Read The October Man novella by Ben Aaronovitch. Basically a short version of his first Peter Grant- Rivers of London but set in Germany. No stunning plot twists or anything. I assume it's leading to a crossover story or joint mission between the Folly and the Abteilung KDA.

Also read this week a book the author of which Aaronovitch tweeted about. The Ides of April is the first in a series featuring Flavia Albia, a comely young widow in ancient Rome who works as a sort of private investigator and who has to help solve the mystery of a serial killer on the Aventine. You'll figure out the culprit a chapter or two before Flavia does. Lindsey Davis is the author of the series and also a previous one featuring Flavia's father.

Excellent author is Ms Davies. Flavia is preceded by her dad, Didius Falco. There's about 20 in his series. Watch for the running gags in her Didius books, especially the turbot one in the first three.
Very funny author.
 

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