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What are you reading - Part II


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The Forgotten Fleet, by John Winton. About a quarter into it and even though I've read the British Pacific Fleet by David Hobbs in the last couple of years, I'm enjoying the slightly different slant this puts on much the same subject & especially enjoying Winton's, at times, wry humour. A good read.

Steve. 

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Harry Harrison - Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers. It is an hilarious parody of classic space science fiction! Having just read 14 EE 'Doc' Smith books in a row, I know where Harry Harrison was coming from!

 

Ray

 

PS I love (older) science fiction...

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Sticky Fingers, a biography of Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone magazine.

 

Shall we say, an   .....  errr .... interesting life he's had!

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The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 - Rick Atkinson (Living room)
The French Revolution and What Went Wrong -Stephen Clarke (Bedroom)
Where have all the bullets gone - Spike Milligan (The "library") 

 

I've gone a bit mad the last few weeks so now have James Holland's "Italy's Sorrow' and 'Big Week' and a signed copy of John Nichol's 'Lancaster' on the "to read" pile. 

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Unable to settle on a single book at present so reading nomadically between several.

Robert Wohl's impressive:

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Is so well and widely researched in the effects that aviation has/had on cultures and societies, written by an historian clearly in love with flight. So well written and illustrated in fact that I just bought the second volume in the series as the first is so good:

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George Prochnik's

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- is currently making for sobering reading in these turbulent days. A meditation on exile and the meaning of identity as much as a biography.

 

By contrast, rereading for the umpteenth time:

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His columns in the Irish Times from the 1940s onwards are collected here in one of the most hilarious single books in existence. (I genuinely thought I'd broken a rib laughing at it the first time of reading it, some 35 years ago.)

Tim Mason's:

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arrived in the post this morning and if anything like his earlier volume on flight testing at Martlesham, should be equally fascinating on the flying qualities of different aircraft (hopefully).

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Ed Russell said:

Oh wow... I read that as a uni student (recreational reading, not coursework!)

Must be time for a revisit Ed, just on half way now, & really enjoying it. He paints with a broader brush than David Hobbs to my mind, the section I've just read was the naval part in the Arakan coastline operations, Akyab through to Ramree Island. The description of the Japanese trying to flee Ramree through the mangrove swamps & network of chaungs was chilling reading. 

Steve.

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A Raid Over Berlin by John Martin.

 

John recounts his service in the RAF during the Second World War as a Bomber Command Wireless Operator whose Lancaster was shot down on his third mission over Berlin, he saw out the rest of the war as a Prisoner of War.  One period the book covers which I have not seen before is the story of his repatriation and post war service until he was demobbed.

 

A very enjoyable read written in a very conversational style: you almost feel you are spending the afternoon with John, a pot of tea and some cake whilst he recalls some of his experiences from the war. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Thirties by Juliet Gardner, a history of the decade in the UK which is proving an interesting read. It’s a decade we think we know a lot about (at least I did) but there was an awful lot going on during the decade than just the abdication, the Jarrow marches and the rearming of our forces and the rise of Hitler.

 

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In mid-May I interrupted my reading of:

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in order to read Urs Widmer's "Das Buch des Vaters":

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I'll have to write an essay on this book for the written part of my C2-level German exam. It's a very interesting novel about Karl, a Swiss intellectual, who traversed the artistic, cultural and historic events of the first two thirds of the 20th Century. I found it so interesting that now I'm reading the companion novel "Der Geliebte der Mutter", by the same author, where the life story of Karl's wife, Clara, is told. Both stories are told by their son:

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I'd recommend both novels to anyone interested in good stories with an historic background (in case you can read German. I could only find an English edition for the second book).

 

Cheers

 

Jaime

 

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Neville Shute, Round the bend. A very interesting read. A young man who spent the war in Egypt rebuilding crashed aircraft can't settle in England again.

So he goes off to Bharein (Bahrain) and starts up a small flying transport company. In doing so some interesting people come to light.

I want to find out what happens but, as so often with a good book, I don't want it to end. I'll have to track down more of his books.

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Having another re-read:

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Amazon HERE.

 

Although I don't personally hold to "The Lions led by Donkeys" school of thought on WW1 generalship, the Italian Chief-of-Staff Luigi Cadorna comes pretty close.....

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Although by WW1 standards the sixth battle was actually a victory.

 

Mike.

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13 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Neville Shute, Round the bend. A very interesting read. A young man who spent the war in Egypt rebuilding crashed aircraft can't settle in England again.

So he goes off to Bharein (Bahrain) and starts up a small flying transport company. In doing so some interesting people come to light.

I want to find out what happens but, as so often with a good book, I don't want it to end. I'll have to track down more of his books.

Another good read is 'Syd's Pirates' the story of Cathay Pacific along with Beyond Lion Rock...I'm definately going to have a look for your book,sounds good...

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10 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Neville Shute, Round the bend. A very interesting read. A young man who spent the war in Egypt rebuilding crashed aircraft can't settle in England again.

So he goes off to Bharein (Bahrain) and starts up a small flying transport company. In doing so some interesting people come to light.

I want to find out what happens but, as so often with a good book, I don't want it to end. I'll have to track down more of his books.

Neville Shute is one of my favourite authors, I'd find it hard to pick a favourite but possibly Requiem for a Wren & Trustee from the Tool Room are the ones I've read most often. If you enjoy Round the Bend, Checkerboard will likely appeal too, while A Town Like Alice is a superb read, especially if you keep visualising a young Virginia Mckenna as the story progresses. :)

Steve. 

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Pied Piper is another. I've found them on the big river and the bay but prices put me off.

I know of a couple of second hand book shops which should have them.

Thanks Guys.

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Most secret is also a good read.  I don’t know if it’s true but “no highway” and some of his other aviation titles are full of not very well hidden recognisable characters from aviation.  Would love to know who Theodore honey is based on! 

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6 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

BTW, it's The Chequer Board. 

Coming off a twelve hour night shift, it could've been anything ;) A good read though, I'd rate it as one of his better. I'd be surprised if Abebooks didn't have many of them at decent prices.

Steve.

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6 hours ago, Vince1159 said:

Is that as in Kai Tak....

No, its a story of intertwined lives as a result of a wartime plane crash. A while since I've read it but Burma is as far east as it gets from memory.

Steve.

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Slide Rule, Shute’s autobiographical account of the building of the R100 and the formation of Airspeed is another title well worth reading by anyone with an interest in aviation. Charity shops (if they ever reopen) are often a fruitful source of his works. 
 

Craig. 

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