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What are you reading - Part II


jrlx

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This was a very interesting read, by a Frenchman flying Halifaxes from Elvington near York during the last 12 months of the war in Europe. It's his diary entries he kept at the time. I didn't know about Roy before, but he's written several books, including a novel based on his experiences in Bomber Command. He's more interested in what makes men tick, rather than the nuts and bolts of bombing missions. Fascinating.

Also, as well as the fear of flak and fighters over enemy territory, collisions with other bombers in the stream, especially in bad visibily, was a real danger too. When casualty figures were announced, it was only those from enemy action. So many crews died in collisions. Operational losses where 51%, but non op were a sobering 12%. Roy definitely highlights the terror of flying in bad visibily, not helped by himself being involved in a collision early in his tour.

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

This one

Forgotten Voices of The Holocaust: True Stories of Survival From Men, Women and Children Who Were There by Lyn Smith  

 

Not for the faint hearted, Some horrendous tales are in here. Mans inhumanity to man.

So sad to think that some of these incidents are happening again in Eastern Europe.

 

I probably won't read this one again, so if anyone would like it for the price of postage, please get in touch.

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Two Penguin volumes on the go currently.

Norman Ohler's:

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- is fast-paced, full of surprises, and a stark reminder of how important it is to avoid narrow simplifications of the past. An irony lost on the Daily Mail's endorsement of course....

 

Jeanette Winterson's phrase: 'Reality is not made of parts but formed of patterns' could apply to the above as much as to the subject of Artificial Intelligence that she brings a novelist's sensibility to here:

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It also contains chapters entitled 'Hot for a Bot' and 'Coal-Fired Vampire' which, quite honestly, was enough to make me buy it in the first place....

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

The new Richard Osman Thursday Murder club, interesting premise.

 

I also have the final (third) volume of Charles Moore’s biography of Margaret Thatcher on the bedside cabinet, too; love her or hate her, her story is extremely interesting. 

Edited by Whofan
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Currently half way through Fighters in the Shadows by Robert Gildea which is a critical, historical examination of the French resistance during WW2 and how the  narrative got skewed to exclude the efforts of women, religious groups, foreigners and non Gaullist groups from the official view.

 

The bravery and fearlessness of some of the protagonists is both inspiring and humbling, the duplicity and complicity amongst so called leaders is staggering and appalling.

 

So far, we're just getting into 1943,I'm expecting things to get rather more vicious as the war progresses.

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I've been laid up for a couple of days with the nasty tummy bug doing the rounds just now & after it got the rest if the family I kinda knew I'd be next. The upside was plenty of time for reading. Two books by Hugh Popham polished off. Read first but a later book was Cape of Storms, side fishing trawlers in the Barents Sea mid 1950s some beautiful writing in it, very much enjoyed. The other was an autobiographical volume of his WW2 experiences as a FAA Sea Hurricane & Seafire pilot, enjoyable on a different level but not as polished as the later volume imho. Maybe to be expected given his ages at their writing.

Steve.

 

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Reading a history of the Luftwaffe from its inception to its collapse, Matthew Cooper's The German Air Force 1933-1945: An Anatomy of Failure right now.

 

One of the Luftwaffe's most important officers, Walter Wever, died before the war in an air crash; two more, the WWI ace Ernst Udet, in charge of procurement, and the ardent Nazi wunderkind Hans Jeschonnek, chief of staff, died by suicide during the war; Göring the same, but afterwards. Incredibly, none of the senior officers who survived to be interviewed or write memoirs between the 1950s and 1970s made any of the bad decisions or mistakes, and always argued against them but were overruled. Amazing! What are the odds? 

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....although the last Inspekteur der Tagjäger Walther Dahl did get to write his memoir.....but it's never been translated into English!

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I'm reading a PD James anthology and very good (and well written) it is too. 

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Just finished "Bad Actors" Mick Herron's latest book in the Slough House series.

 

Herron's plots are always well thought out with no loose ends and this book is no exception. It concerns an over ambitious political aid attempting to amass power and run the secret service with pressure being applied to the head of MI5. Jackson Lamb, while being involved in the plot, plays a small role here and several other characters are involved throughout the story line.

 

While you don't have to read the Slough House books in order you will gain a better understanding of the characters if you do.

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£2 well spent at our local antiques market. There was a shelf full of RN/FAA/USN titles but this one with the Michael Turner cover jumped out. The reviews on the back cover describe it as one of the best accounts from a pilot during the Second World War, and it reads like a novel. I really couldn't put it down. Really highlights the dangers of carrier flying.

 

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Reading ''Beyond The Reach Of Empire' by Col. Mike Snook, about the failed expedition to save Gordon in Khartoum.  Outstanding book, as Col. Snook's books usually are, I've just reached his superb account of the battle of Abu Klea.  Col. Snook doesn't have a high regard for Lord Wolseley's organisation of the expedition, Wolseley apparently believed that what had worked on the Red River campaign in Canada in 1870 would work on the Nile, after all, 'water is water, and rock is rock.'  A great read.

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21 hours ago, Quiet Mike said:

one of the best accounts from a pilot during the Second World War

Definitely so. I found mine a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Currently reading "Gone Bush" by Paul Kilgour, a  lifetime wanderer in the New Zealand outdoors & inveterate hut "bagger", ie, records all the huts he has visited if not stayed it, last score over 1200, I can manage a miserable 55 or so.  Very cheerful kind of read, twas a gift for a recent birthday.

Steve 

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@Billy54

 

Thanks for the heads up on the latest Slow Horses book.

 

I suspect you and I are among a large number of BM'er who are fans of Mick Herron's world!

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5 hours ago, Whofan said:

@Billy54

 

Thanks for the heads up on the latest Slow Horses book.

 

I suspect you and I are among a large number of BM'er who are fans of Mick Herron's world!

 

You can certainly include me in that number.

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On 5/27/2022 at 12:48 AM, Whofan said:

@Billy54

 

Thanks for the heads up on the latest Slow Horses book.

 

I suspect you and I are among a large number of BM'er who are fans of Mick Herron's world!

 

On 5/27/2022 at 5:53 AM, 593jones said:

 

You can certainly include me in that number.

 

For you guys and others who enjoy Mick Herron's work you may be interested in another author, Colin Cotterill. They both share the same US publisher, Soho Press and both use the same characters throughout their books. Although I think Cotterill has retired his website is still up where you can gain an insight into his thinking He is English and lives on the beach somewhere in Thailand and he is very approachable, I have e-mailed him a couple of times and he has always be kind enough to respond. I can highly recommend his Dr Siri books starting with his first in the series, "The Coroner's Lunch". Dr Siri is 72 years old and has been appointed the coroner for all of Laos after the Communist takeover. I hope you get the same enjoyment from reading Dr Siri as I have. 

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56 minutes ago, Billy54 said:

For you guys and others who enjoy Mick Herron's work you may be interested in another author, Colin Cotterill.

Billy,

 

thanks for the heads up on this author. I'l certainly look out for his books.

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Started it last night & over half way through already, "Ice Cold in Alex". Last read 50+ years ago. my Dad had a copy which I read. I wondered if his tenure as a RAMC MO in the North African campaign was like the book, not quite he said with a grin. Subsequently I learnt it was likely more action packed. Enjoying it immensely second time around, it reads well & easily.

Steve.

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I’ll bet the book is better and more detailed than the film; I rather liked the film but in my experience books tend to either parallel a film but mostly exceed the film because the story is laid out in black and white, in front of you.

I love to read but don’t always have the concentration for it, I mostly read in the autumn and winter when there’s not a lot going on outside but rain and wind.

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45 minutes ago, Markh-75 said:

I love to read but don’t always have the concentration for it, I mostly read in the autumn and winter when there’s not a lot going on outside but rain and wind.

 

Same rules apply to modelling for me!

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