What are you reading right now?

endure

GCM
Watching 'Chernobyl' has set me off on an atomic thing so I've just started reading 'Midnight in Chernobyl' by Adam Higginbotham.

One thing he does mention is the inefficiency of the Hiroshima bomb. It was carrying 64 kilograms of uranium. 1 kilogram went fissile. 700 milligrams actually caused the explosion.
 
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Watching 'Chernobyl' has set me off on an atomic thing so I've just started reading 'Midnight in Chernobyl' by Adak Higginbotham.

One thing he does mention is the inefficiency of the Hiroshima bomb. It was carrying 64 kilograms of uranium. 1 kilogram went fissile. 700 milligrams actually caused the explosion.
Hence all the testing. Efficient bombs are complex.
 
Just finished "Station 43" sub-titled "Audley End House and SOE's Polish Section" by Ian Valentine.
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Quite informative and a reasonable read; a commendable effort by the author, who is neither a historian nor a professional writer, but a dedicated amateur who had a personal link to the house which piqued his interest.

The narrative jumps about a bit and is marred by a few minor errors and inconsistencies, which a good editor should gave spotted and rectified. Readers somewhat familiar with the subject matter may spot these and wonder; those completely new to it may be confused a bit.

However, it provides a good introduction to the role of the Poles in SOE and the predicament of the Polish Nation and the Free Poles towards the end of WW2 and the realpolitik of leaving a truncated Poland under the occupation of one of its aggressors of September 1939.

One of the facts covered in the book that I was not aware of, was that SOE also enabled the insertion via RAF special duties flights of Soviet NKVD agents into occupied Europe. Some were even flown on (Free) Polish Air Force crewed planes. It is ironic that agents of the organisation that was responsible for carrying out the arrests, interrogations, torture and in many cases murder of Poles both military and civilian were also being dropped into Poland in parallel to Polish agents that they regarded as their enemies.
 
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As I'm still slowly ploughing through 'Final Solution' by David Cesarani, I felt like something much lighter for bed-time. Accordingly I have started the series of books by Robert G. Barrett featuring Les Norton. This is the first:

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Synopsis:
You Wouldn't Be Dead For Quids is a series of adventures involving Les Norton, a big red-headed country boy from Queensland who is forced to move on the big smoke when things get a little hot for him in his hometown. Working as a bouncer at an illegal casino up at the Cross, Les gets to meet some fascinating characters who make up the seamier side of one of the most exciting cities in the world – gamblers, conmen, bookies, bouncers, hookers and hitmen, who ply their respective trades from the golden sands of Bondi to the tainted gutters of King's Cross. . . usually on the wrong side of the law.

As raw as a greyhound's dinner, Les is nevertheless a top bloke – fond of a drink, loves a laugh and he's handy with his fists. And, just quietly, he's a bit of a ladies man too. . . Les Norton is undoubtedly an Australian cult figure.
 
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Army and RN Divers get a look-in this year during the D-Day 75 anniversary, with dedicated memorials making headlines.

An old classic edition - 1992 - this book is very much worth a read and it's available for pennies. Chapters on training, equipment, dive planning, seamanship, diving techniques, safety and first aid. Also notes on diving schools, underwater photography, and diving locations. All in all, 249 pages of cracking material as an introduction to the discipline.
 
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Places In The Darkness, Chris Brookmyre.

I struggled to finish this ( 2 weeks). It's an OK story, bit of a rehashed rehash, methinks; sadly both the main protagonist are female (Brookmyre' s continuing hom(me)age to Feminism writ large and badly). And that's it: the two main protagonists are female. I won't go into the plot, such as it is, nor shall I venture further anywhere else regarding this tome.

Read only if you're seriously into Brookmyre. It's not up to his normal snuff, alas (it's sh1t!)
 
Had a few weeks of re-reading some old favourite Sci Fi and Fantasy series but you get kind of burned out on it all after a while so I've canned my planned re-read of the Forever War Omnibus by Joe Halderman and Neuromancer by William Gibson.

Instead, I'm going to re-read The Complete McAuslan and confuse foreigners on the metro by being the random white English guy who keeps snorting with laughter for no apparent reason.
 
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This. Stalin, The Court of the Red Tsar, by Simon Sebring FIAT 131 Twin-Cam Supermiraiori (ISBN 9780753817667)

Sent to me by my ex Katie who, bless her, is still trying to educate me. Katie is of German-Jewish extraction, her great-grandfather having got the family out of Germany in the nick of time. She has a great interest in this sort of stuff.

Anyway, about the book. I'm about 100 pages into this weighty tome (actually they all weigh the same, I use a tablet). 888 pages. To be honest, I never took this guy too seriously, given that his wife is called Father Christmas.

I was wrong, this chap knows his stuff. Very readable and engaging. Starts off with a prologue of the events leading up to Joe's wife topping herself. Turns out he was a legendary shagger as well. Early days of Kruschev are covered, crushing the Kulaks, armoured trains.

All stuff I already knew, but put together and related in an excellent manner. Damned good read so far.
 

Scorcher68

Old-Salt
John Grisham's The Reckoning .Set in deep south in 1946 .Local war hero has just blown the head off the local Baptist pillar of the local community Minister .I am thinking child sexual abuse but am perfectly happy to admit that contemporary news is influencing my opinion. We shall see.
 

B42T

LE
I read Arnhem last week by Antony Beevor, I was about to read Berlin by the same author, however the dog decided that it was ideal as a chewing toy so that has scuppered that idea grrr.
 
Have ordered this, on recommendation from my opposite number at Raytheon in AZ

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Apparently, Killary was a total nightmare, Chelsea Clinton was a model child who always did exactly what the minders told her to do.

In one missive, some fella who worked in The White House took a call from Barbara Bush, who was having trouble with her computer. Said WH employee phoned her back to help out. Crooked Hillary found out, and sacked the guy.

Will tell you all about it when it arrives.
 
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ISBN-10: 0571236766
ISBN-13: 978-0571236763

Saturday afternoon Wrestling entertained grapple fans for decades, selling to three dozen outlets around the world. Reaching cult status for two decades, the TV wrestlers were household names in the UK, with perhaps the biggest rivalry between Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks.

A book of memoirs, this is funny, revealing and melancholic in equal measure. Pro-wrestler Jackie 'Pallo' Gutteridge notes that "the wrestling business was a fabulous business..." but they all knew it was ruthless showbiz.

Amazon.
 
Berlin is excellent. Leaves grim things in your head, though.
On Berlin, Tony Le Tissier's 'The Battle of Berlin' is outstanding. I lived on Adolf-Hitler-Platz (Ernst-Reuter-Platz as it became) for a couple of years, using the U-Bahn station there much of the time, so the history of the place for me is doubly interesting, as it is for all of us who lived and worked there.
 
On Berlin, Tony Le Tissier's 'The Battle of Berlin' is outstanding. I lived on Adolf-Hitler-Platz (Ernst-Reuter-Platz as it became) for a couple of years, using the U-Bahn station there much of the time, so the history of the place for me is doubly interesting, as it is for all of us who lived and worked there.
Similar to being in Berlin while Deighton's adapted for TV Game, Set and Match trilogy was first broadcast.
 

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