What are you reading right now?

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An excellent travelogue through the grinding poverty of Americas forgotton states.
All the better for being able to follow his journey on Google Earth.
 
The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu, the first book that's made me really think for a while.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
Simon Singh, 'Fermat's Last Theorem'.

When Pierre de Fermat died in 1655 he left a book with margin scribbles one of which claimed to have proved that

x((n) + y(n) = z(n) has no integer solutions for n> 2. (x(n) here means x to the power n).

Many tried to find a proof including such as Euler and most gave up until Andrew Wiles, a Cambridge mathemat by then a Professor at Princeton, produced a proof in 1995. He had been obsessed by this problem since he was 10. This is his story, the story of the theorem and the search for a proof, and on the side a fascinating tour d'horizon of the theory of number, brilliantly and simply narrated for the general reader, albeit one with a mathematical bent.
 
Simon Singh, 'Fermat's Last Theorem'.

When Pierre de Fermat died in 1655 he left a book with margin scribbles one of which claimed to have proved that

x((n) + y(n) = z(n) has no integer solutions for n> 2. (x(n) here means x to the power n).

Many tried to find a proof including such as Euler and most gave up until Andrew Wiles, a Cambridge mathemat by then a Professor at Princeton, produced a proof in 1995. He had been obsessed by this problem since he was 10. This is his story, the story of the theorem and the search for a proof, and on the side a fascinating tour d'horizon of the theory of number, brilliantly and simply narrated for the general reader, albeit one with a mathematical bent.
I also like Singh's book about the Mathematical references in The Simpsons. His style of writing is quite reader friendly given the subject matter.

Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure by Cedric Vilani is pretty good too.
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
Simon Singh, 'Fermat's Last Theorem'.

When Pierre de Fermat died in 1655 he left a book with margin scribbles one of which claimed to have proved that

x((n) + y(n) = z(n) has no integer solutions for n> 2. (x(n) here means x to the power n).

Many tried to find a proof including such as Euler and most gave up until Andrew Wiles, a Cambridge mathemat by then a Professor at Princeton, produced a proof in 1995. He had been obsessed by this problem since he was 10. This is his story, the story of the theorem and the search for a proof, and on the side a fascinating tour d'horizon of the theory of number, brilliantly and simply narrated for the general reader, albeit one with a mathematical bent.
Sounds like the perfect Christmas present for a particular friend of mine.
 
Just finished reading Ratlines as recommended previously on here. Decent read somewhere along the lines of Day of the Jackel.


Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
Simon Singh, 'Fermat's Last Theorem'.

When Pierre de Fermat died in 1655 he left a book with margin scribbles one of which claimed to have proved that

x((n) + y(n) = z(n) has no integer solutions for n> 2. (x(n) here means x to the power n).

Many tried to find a proof including such as Euler and most gave up until Andrew Wiles, a Cambridge mathemat by then a Professor at Princeton, produced a proof in 1995. He had been obsessed by this problem since he was 10. This is his story, the story of the theorem and the search for a proof, and on the side a fascinating tour d'horizon of the theory of number, brilliantly and simply narrated for the general reader, albeit one with a mathematical bent.
I also like Singh's book about the Mathematical references in The Simpsons. His style of writing is quite reader friendly given the subject matter.

Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure by Cedric Vilani is pretty good too.
Er? My CSE grade 1 maths doesn’t ring any bells here, I’ll stick to The Beano Annual.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
It's okay Gouty, all you need to be able to do is count your beer tokens :p
Thank the lord for that. It does sound a trifle complicated, perhaps it’s a formula for Uniteds new formation and Ole’s plan B? Saying that I haven’t seen much of plan A.

OR, is it The Governments voting plan for a general election?
 
Otto Skorzeny: The Devil's Disciple by Stuart Smith

Most bio's of Skorzeny spend the majority of their time dealing his military history. This one not only covers that but also his post-war history which in many ways is just as interesting. He was an unrepentant Nazi to his dying days, although as the author notes, ironically his grave is surrounded by Jewish graves while his is the only SS Lieutenant-Colonel's.

Militarily he succeeded because he was the quickest to grab any glory before anyone else while also being very quick to blame others for any shortcomings. His most notable success was the snatch raid to grab Mussolini from his Italian captors at Grand Sasso. He didn't plan it, he didn't lead it but he made sure he accompanied Mussolini back to Hitler and get the credit. He had no patience for detail planning but was aware of this so he surrounded himself with people who could do this; most of them detested Skorzeny but did as they were told.

His most controversial campaign was to lead his commandos in the Battle of the Bulge where some teams were dressed in US clothing and were to operate behind US lines. His group was attached to Kampfgruppe Peiper which was responsible for the massacre of 80 US prisoners at Malmedy. For this he was charged with war crimes after the war.

If he hadn't been ill at the time he would have been tried at the same time as Peiper and convicted. That particular trial was a travesty of justice as the prosecutor was able to influence the conduct of the trial to ensure the defence was not able to properly do its job. He tried it again with the next batch of prisoners that included Skorzeny but ran into a defence lawyer (US army) who was having none of the prosecutor's attempts to railroad the prisoners. All were acquitted. The charge in relation to the killings of the US prisoners was dropped very quickly when it was revealed that Skorzeny had been no where near Malmedy at the time nor had any role in Kamfgruppe Peiper other than being attached to it.

Despite being acquitted of war crimes there were several other episodes in Skorzeny's military career that were to haunt him for several decades after and the Russian's made several attempts to capture him or extradite him but all were repulsed, most likely with US or German assistance.

Skorzeny was linked to various attempts to restore a right-wing government in Germany and to supposed arms deals with various right-wing governments. However, while he boasted of his contacts and influence the reality was he not a huge factor and was mostly the product of his own self-promotion. His commercial dealings were a success and when he died from lung cancer in 1976 he was a wealthy man

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A decent read and fills in a few gaps in BoB, he's as generous with his praise for those he liked and respected as he is scathing for those he did not.
Between this and the other BoB books I've read he seemed a more than able commander.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Just started this today, as one might expect, bloody good.
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seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
Re-read Rowland White's 'Phoenix Squadron (2009) which has been mentioned, mostly rather briefly, several times on ARRSE since it came out.

The story of how the 'old' Ark Royal (the pukka carrier which I visited when she first came to Guzz), diverted from mid-Atlantic, drove flat out for two days to a position between Bermuda and the Bahamas to launch two Buccaneers on a six-hour round trip to 'show the flag' over Belize City, and in so doing deterred a Guatemalan land grab in January 1972, when carrier-borne air power with its global reach was the only thing that the UK could bring to bear on the situation.

An important story which explains how Guatemala nursed exactly the same sort of delusional ideas about Belize as the Argentinians exhibited regarding the Falklands. It also describes the operation of Ark in fine grain detail and in that way is a text book of how she could simultaneously provide Combat Air Patrol, a rippled ASW screen, Airborne Early Warning and on top of all that a massive offensive effect. No end consultation with bods and records research etc to back it all up. Very well told so that the reader is up there in the aircraft watching the dials.

Personal interest for me as I had been shipmates with many of the participants and the schoolmate of one of them, and had been in Lossie when the first Buc squadron (Buc 1s) with their ginormous scantlings was forming up, even got to sit in one briefly; but a very, very ARRSE-worthy book in its own right.
 
Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household. Written around 80 years ago but very gripping. Inspired David Morrell's First Blood, Forsyth's Day of the Jackal among others according to the new introduction.
 
Simon Singh, 'Fermat's Last Theorem'.


"x((n) + y(n) = z(n) has no integer solutions for n> 2. (x(n) here means x to the power n)."

He had been obsessed by this problem since he was 10.
I find it totaly fascinating that folk like this exist. At the age of 10, he was fussing over a very complicated maths problem. Compared to my biggest problem at 10, wondering if it was chips for tea.

SK
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household. Written around 80 years ago but very gripping. Inspired David Morrell's First Blood, Forsyth's Day of the Jackal among others according to the new introduction.
Keep hearing bits of that serialised on Radio 4Extra and thinking I should read it.
 

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