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Book thread: what are you reading?


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Jonathan Meades - Pedro and Ricky come again. A compilation of various articles, essays etc. Enjoyable stuff, if Meades is your kind of thing.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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Agent Sonya by Ben MacIntyre, who writes historical fiction based on true events. 

I'm only about 1/3 of the way through but it's fascinating. I had no idea about the purge of communists by China in the far east prior to China actually becoming Communist. It's an astonishing story as Agent Sonya ends up selling UK nuclear secrets to the Russians whilst living an apparently idyllic life in the English countryside.

Mind-blowing. 

If you've not read it, Operation Mincemeat by the same author is the most brilliantly crackers story of the Normandy Landings. 

Agent Sonya (penguin.co.uk)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hood and Bismarck (2001) by David Mearns and Rob White.

An old hardback based on the expedition to find and film the wreck of HMS Hood which was quickly sunk by the Bismarck in the Battle of Denmark Strait in 1941.

Channel 4 took part in the expedition which hoped to definitively answer questions around the rapid demise of the mighty Hood when only three sailors out of a crew of nearly 1400 survived the sinking.

Although I’ve read perhaps more detailed accounts of the battle and the aftermath, the underwater photos are fascinating and poignant at the same time.

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1 hour ago, Irish Saint said:

Descent Into Silence - ,David Hinchcliffe

True story of a  (forgotten) mining disaster in the village of Crawthorne. Two of the dead being 8 years old. Other families being evicted after the tragedy.

Reminds me of Aberfan, only 2?

Edited by CornwallRL
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1 hour ago, Irish Saint said:

Descent Into Silence - ,David Hinchcliffe

True story of a  (forgotten) mining disaster in the village of Crawthorne. Two of the dead being 8 years old. Other families being evicted after the tragedy.

Nothing on Wikipedia, when did this supposed to happen?

Crawthorne just seems to be a nice quiet village.

Are you selling houses around there?

Edited by CornwallRL
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It Never Snows In September.

The German View of Market Garden and the Battle of Arnhem.

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Rugby Union the only game in the world were the spectators handle the ball more than the players.

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Apologies i typed Crawthorne instead of Cawthorne

No-one gave a second’s thought to the victims of a mining disaster near the small Yorkshire village of Cawthorne in 1821, even though two were children of just eight-years-old. Former MP David Hinchliffe’s exploration of his family history inadvertently led to the discovery of his collier ancestors’ involvement in the barely recorded and long-forgotten pit tragedy, which occurred amidst of the turbulence of the industrial revolution.The exploration of these two intertwined strands – and a passionate interest in local history in Yorkshire – has enabled him finally to reveal the full details of a melancholy event which devastated the families of the ten who were killed - but caused barely a ripple further afield. Using contemporary reports to help piece the jigsaw together, historical context and detailed genealogical research into the backgrounds of those involved, this account offers a fascinating insight into the lives of working class families across the period, when children as young as five were forced to work underground in order to supplement the household income. The research also illustrates how the split between the businessmen operating local pits, and landowners like the Spencer-Stanhopes of Cawthorne's Cannon Hall, led to an apparent disregard for the safety and wellbeing of the local workforce. The unforgiving inhumanity of the time is underlined by the way the local ‘Overseers of the Poor’ endeavoured to eject two of the victims’ families from the area when they had fallen on hard times after the disaster. And, most ironically of all, how the lauded death of Sir Walter Spencer- Stanhope is recorded in the parish register directly opposite that of the young and until now unheralded John Hinchliffe.

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2 hours ago, jacksy said:

It Never Snows In September.

The German View of Market Garden and the Battle of Arnhem.

German views of the World Wars are often interesting (unless they are by resentful political fanatics, of course).

I have Luftwaffe fighter ace Adolf Galland's book The First and the Last, which covers his time from the Condor Legion in Spain, to when his squadron was hiding out, surrounded by allied air power and destroying their Messerschmidt jet fighters so the technology wouldn't fall into the hands of the enemy. In between, fascinating stories, and some extremely critical insight into why he thought things went wrong for the Axis powers, both tactically and politically.

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"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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INSIS is analysis of how the Germans responded to and defeated the airborne operation for the bridges 

The allied side has been told many times. This book accounts for how very adept the Germans were at conjuring up ad hoc units into a coherent defence.

Edited by jacksy
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Rugby Union the only game in the world were the spectators handle the ball more than the players.

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“My life so far” Frankie Boyle’s autobiography, I know he’s not everybody’s cup of tea but it’s pretty funny imo and as you expect the humour is basically sexual and scatological, often combined 😳

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"Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice, socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality" - Mikhail Bakunin

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On 15/10/2021 at 10:16, The Hallucinating Goose said:

Yep, I'm about 60 pages into it at the moment, Maturin is currently trying to stop the boys on La Fleche from playing with his specimens. If I remember rightly they were playing tug of war with a seal skin! 😂

I took a break from the series to read Rob Burrow's autobiography and no doubt you'll overtake me very soon because I'm not a fast reader and I only read for about an hour a day anyway. Tell you what though, taking a break from the series really made me realise how much I am loving these books because I was so keen to get back to it after a 2 week break. 👍

Update for me.

Just finished book 7, The Surgeon's Mate. How the characters have developed so far has been fascinating. Slowly, book by book, Maturin is taking more centre stage.

As I'm alternating with other stuff, it'll be the New Year before I start The Ionian Mission.

I was recently given this as a present, and it's superb:

 

51w6uXDgIIL.jpg

Edited by marklaspalmas
typo
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2 hours ago, marklaspalmas said:

Update for me.

Just finished book 7, The Surgeon's Mate. How the characters have developed so far has been fascinating. Slowly, book by book, Maturin is taking more centre stage.

As I'm alternating with other stuff, it'll be the New Year before I start The Ionian Mission.

I was recently given this as a present, and it's superb:

 

51w6uXDgIIL.jpg

I'm currently reading number 9, Treason's Harbour. I agree, I've found Maturin is taking more of a prominent role and I must say I prefer Maturin to Aubrey, especially all the espionage, which is essentially what Treason's Harbour is about.

As the characters are developing and we're learning more about their back stories I'm feeling so connected to these people, I don't think I've been so engaged by a series of books for years. Already my favourite series ever and I'm not even halfway through! 

I even had a dream recently where I was talking on the phone to Diana and Jagiello was there as well. Can't remember anything else though! 😂

Ps. I picked this up in a second hand bookshop recently. Excellent guide to the series, explains terminology and the science behind all elements of sailing as well as describing places, destinations and ships they travel on as well as providing maps of the voyages which have been really helpful for showing where some of the fictional places they visit are located. 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Harbors-High-Seas-Geographical-Aubrey-Maturin/dp/0805066144/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=A6YD96W27NHT&keywords=Aubrey+and+Maturin+guide&qid=1640007262&sprefix=aubrey+and+maturin+guide%2Caps%2C895&sr=8-1

Edited by The Hallucinating Goose
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On 20/12/2021 at 13:31, The Hallucinating Goose said:

I'm currently reading number 9, Treason's Harbour. I agree, I've found Maturin is taking more of a prominent role and I must say I prefer Maturin to Aubrey, especially all the espionage, which is essentially what Treason's Harbour is about.

As the characters are developing and we're learning more about their back stories I'm feeling so connected to these people, I don't think I've been so engaged by a series of books for years. Already my favourite series ever and I'm not even halfway through! 

I even had a dream recently where I was talking on the phone to Diana and Jagiello was there as well. Can't remember anything else though! 😂

Ps. I picked this up in a second hand bookshop recently. Excellent guide to the series, explains terminology and the science behind all elements of sailing as well as describing places, destinations and ships they travel on as well as providing maps of the voyages which have been really helpful for showing where some of the fictional places they visit are located. 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Harbors-High-Seas-Geographical-Aubrey-Maturin/dp/0805066144/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=A6YD96W27NHT&keywords=Aubrey+and+Maturin+guide&qid=1640007262&sprefix=aubrey+and+maturin+guide%2Caps%2C895&sr=8-1

I have tonight finished number 9 in the series and as a result feel I have reached quite a symbolic point for me. I wanted to read the Aubrey-Maturin series after seeing the film adaptation, which took elements from a number of the novels I have noticed from reading what I have so far but of course the main plot of that film is taken from the novel, The Far Side of the World, which is number 10 in the series and the one I will start tomorrow. So not only am I at the halfway point in the series but I have also reached the story that, at least in film form, made me immediately fall in love with these characters I have been indulging myself in these past few months. 

Bring on The Far Side of the World! 😁🌍👍

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22 hours ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

I have tonight finished number 9 in the series and as a result feel I have reached quite a symbolic point for me. I wanted to read the Aubrey-Maturin series after seeing the film adaptation, which took elements from a number of the novels I have noticed from reading what I have so far but of course the main plot of that film is taken from the novel, The Far Side of the World, which is number 10 in the series and the one I will start tomorrow. So not only am I at the halfway point in the series but I have also reached the story that, at least in film form, made me immediately fall in love with these characters I have been indulging myself in these past few months. 

Bring on The Far Side of the World! 😁🌍👍

You're storming ahead of me. 😉

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On 20/12/2021 at 13:31, The Hallucinating Goose said:

I'm currently reading number 9, Treason's Harbour. I agree, I've found Maturin is taking more of a prominent role and I must say I prefer Maturin to Aubrey, especially all the espionage, which is essentially what Treason's Harbour is about.

As the characters are developing and we're learning more about their back stories I'm feeling so connected to these people, I don't think I've been so engaged by a series of books for years. Already my favourite series ever and I'm not even halfway through! 

I even had a dream recently where I was talking on the phone to Diana and Jagiello was there as well. Can't remember anything else though! 😂

Ps. I picked this up in a second hand bookshop recently. Excellent guide to the series, explains terminology and the science behind all elements of sailing as well as describing places, destinations and ships they travel on as well as providing maps of the voyages which have been really helpful for showing where some of the fictional places they visit are located. 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Harbors-High-Seas-Geographical-Aubrey-Maturin/dp/0805066144/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=A6YD96W27NHT&keywords=Aubrey+and+Maturin+guide&qid=1640007262&sprefix=aubrey+and+maturin+guide%2Caps%2C895&sr=8-1

Nice one. I'd seen that one on  Amazon. I think I'll have to get that too

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