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What are you reading - Part II


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5 hours ago, Beermonster1958 said:

The Royal Succession - Book 4 in Maurice Druon's excellent series, The Accursed Kings.

 

 

I've never actually read any of this series, but I do remember the excellent French television adaptation a considerable number of years ago.  I really should read them.

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On 10/29/2021 at 8:04 PM, 593jones said:

Just finished 'Righteous Kill' by Ted Lapkin, a very enjoyable time-travel thriller.  Set, initially, in the present it concerns a German scientist who has discovered the secret of time travel.  He approaches the Israelis with the proposition of using it to send Israeli special forces back in time to assassinate Hitler and the other senior Nazis, and thereby avoid the Holocaust.  The actual raid is very well described, as is the aftermath, with the German army crushing the SS and SA.  Somewhat disappointingly, the author doesn't go into how this would affect the war, with a military government in Germany.  Where it does drag, for me at any rate, is the authors loving descriptions of the weaponry and tech used by the Israelis, I don't think that much information does much for the pace of the book, but as I say, that's just me.  What did surprise me was the author's contention that changing history to that extent would not cause too much change in the present, I would have thought the ramifications would be enormous.  Still, it's a good read, and I did enjoy it.

 

 

Interesting idea but...if the Holocaust didn't happen, Israel may not have come into existence, or undoubtedly not in the form it did.  So these Israeli SF would instantly vanish from the space time continuum and the assassination couldn't  happen and... now my head hurts.

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12 hours ago, malpaso said:

Interesting idea but...if the Holocaust didn't happen, Israel may not have come into existence, or undoubtedly not in the form it did.  So these Israeli SF would instantly vanish from the space time continuum and the assassination couldn't  happen and... now my head hurts.

 

And there you have the time-travel paradox!  If you travel back in time to change history, you remove the reason to travel back in time because the history you want to change didn't happen, but it didn't happen because you changed it.  I think.  :wall:

 

I don't think the author really thought through the changes that would have occurred as a result of the plan.  Presumably with the Army in charge, Operation Barbarossa wouldn't have happened, at least not in the way in did in OTL, perhaps the German army would have made a better job of it without Hitler's interventions.  It's also unlikely that Germany would have declared war on the USA, so if Pearl Harbor happens in this time line the USA is only fighting Japan, so no European involvement.  Also, as you say, with no Holocaust the existence of Israel is problematic, possibly increased Jewish immigration to Palestine, and maybe a longer transition to a Jewish state.

 

I did enjoy the book, though, and maybe the author should consider writing a sequel showing how he thinks  history would have been changed.

 

 

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Picked up a cheap copy of "Meteor Boys"from a remainder type book store a year ago and never started it till two weeks ago.  Quite interesting tales of 1950's RAF.  The RAF was still partly of the old WW2 ethos and the attitude to flight safety was somewhat different to today.  Quite educational I'd recommend it as a read for that reason alone.  Tales of drafts of guys selected for national service and as they are "in" anyway they volunteer for flying duties.  After arriving and experiencing four pilot funerals in as many weeks there was a lot of "unvolunteering" going on.  The loss rate was horrendous and almost at combat levels.  And all just accepted as part and parcel of daily life.  One of the new ground crew tells of attending a new squadron and as he was in charge of ejection seats he immediately grounds all the squadron aircraft except 4 meteors for ejection seat cartridges being way out of date.  He was called "that bloody corporal" after that  and was unpopular for correcting a bad situation.

 

A great story told by Norman Tebbit about coming unglued on a take off at Waterbeach in 1954 and getting smashed up.  Gets driven back to North Weald and decides he is fit enough and desperate enough for a drink at the bar.  He has a bashed in and bloodied face and is looking a right state.  On entering he sees the new AOC getting breasted by the pilots about running an exercise in such awful weather conditions.   He hears the AOC saying "Well what you chaps have to understand is that fighter aircraft are expendable."  Norman Tebbit taps him on the shoulder and says "May I quote you at my Court of Enquiry Sir?  to which the AOC replies "No.  But would you like a drink?"  

 

Very changed times.  Lots of other similar tales and stuff that would make the hair stand on end in regards to flight safety today

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On 19/12/2021 at 11:10, Black Knight said:

Poem, Stephen Mitchell, 2011

The prose is an ebook , Samuel Butler, 1898 & republished 2011

 

Proficient in ancient Greek? Me? Its all Latin to me!

 

Mitchell's is very good, as is his translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh. Highly recommended. Another prose translation you might want to check out is that by A.S. Kline. It can be downloaded for free from his website poetryintranslation.com.

 

When you've finished with the Butler version, you should look for "The Authoress of the Odyssey" which presents his theory that the author was a woman. I'm not sure I buy into that, but it was an interesting read.

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

PS. Classics rule!

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Storm Force by Rowland White, the story of the war in Oman between Omani Forces backed by the SAS & British pilots against communist insurgents from South Yemen in the early 70s. The SAS's finest hour, the Battle of Mirbat is featured. About 1/2 way through & finding it a superb read.

Steve.

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About half way through The Age of Orion and the author gives a very in depth account of the development of the P-3 through its evolution. There are of course some excellent photos of the P-3 and this book should provide me with the research I need to start (one day :) ) and complete the four 1/72 Hasegawa P-3s I have in the stash. It is published by Schiffer Military  and I have several books by them in my library and have yet to be disappointed.  

 

Picked up Five Decembers by James Kestrel the other day at Barnes and Nobel where they were having a 50% off sale on hardbound books. I haven't read anything by Kestrel however I am familiar with the publisher Hard Case Crime who publish/reprint a number of noir/pulp authors. 

 

20211229_082759

 

Edited by Billy54
spelling
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..looks like a fantastic read - although the book is very pricey. Thanks for the heads-up!

 

Just finishing "Fleet Air Arm Boys " by Steve Bond - Vol I covers fighters with lots of accounts of flying Scimitars, Sea Vixens etc etc. The best of these 'Boys' books I've read. Vol II on order (from the library..) Otherwise 'Metropolis' by Philip Kerr coming to the top of 'to read' pile along with a couple of Volker Kutscher's crime novels also set in the inter-war Weimar period.  (Babylon Berlin) A German thriller writer who has me gripped currently is Sebastian Fitzek. I don't think I've read any thriller quite like his "Amok" just published in translation. Finished it in a couple of days and went straight to his "Passenger 23"  

 

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Have just finished Mark Lewisohn's excellent book on the Beatles, 840 pages long and he's only got to Christmas 1962!I

 

It is really extraordinary how, from their first meeting with Brian Epstein in December 1961, the Beatles got their recording contract, recorded their first song in the UK, which spent some 10 weeks in the charts from October to December 1962, changed from  leather clad to smart suits, increased their fee for gigs to £100 - (!), played their last month in Hamburg, and recorded Please Please Me of which George Martin said to the Beatles: 

 

"We've just recorded your first number 1. " **

 

Anyway, still on the historical motif, I'm now reading the first volume in Dominic Sanbrook's history of modern Britain, Never had it so good, from Suez to the Beatles.

 

** corrected the quote.

Edited by Whofan
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2/3rds of the way through Taranto, the latest by David Hobbs. Not just about that raid, this is a comprehensive look at the FAA's war in the Med from 1940 to 1944. I do like Hobbs; he's always been very readable without getting florid or dramatic. 

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3 hours ago, Whofan said:

Have just finished Mark Lewisohn's excellent book on the Beatles, 840 pages long and he's only got to Christmas 1962!I

 

 

Blimey and i thought Mozart: A Documentary Biography with 680 pages was long read and only the one....

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12 minutes ago, Vince1159 said:

Blimey and i thought Mozart: A Documentary Biography with 680 pages was long read and only the one....

 

Vince,

 

I've also got Johnny Rogan's bio of Ray Davies in the to read pile, that's 780 pages long !  Of course, that covers his career and life up to about 2015.

 

If Mark Lewisohn does complete volume 2,  I think it would go from Jan 1963 to say Jan 1969, followed by volume 3 which would take the story to the formal legal break up of the Beatles in 1974.

 

 

 

 

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