Wednesday, 13 April 2016

This week I have been mostly reading...

I usually have a box in the sidebar of the blog with a pic of whatever I'm currently reading and I thought it would be an idea to summarise a random assortment of my reading matter over the last little while....

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Flag 4 by Dudley Pope
If you have any interest in Coastal Naval Warfare in WW2 this is an excellent book.  Focusing on action in the Mediterranean from North Africa, to Italy and finally to the Adriatic it's very readable and gives some great insights into these small but ferocious actions.

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Len Deighton meets Love craft... Charles Stross' books are really fun and hugely entertaining...go and read them!
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The Plantagenets by Dan Jones
I'd previously read his book on the Wars of the Roses which I found both very clear and understandable given how messy and complex the WotR were.  I was keen to read ths 'prequel' which obviously has a much wider historical range.  Again he makes a very convoluted period of history seem much more understandable...perhaps simplifying too much in the process for some but as a primer it's well worth getting hold of.

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Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz
This cropped up on one of my regular Amazon bargains emails so for £1 it seemed worth taking a punt.  I'm never convinced by modern authors taking on previous works like this but I have to say this was an excellent read.  Opening with Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty plunging to their 'deaths' at Reichenbach  (oops...does that count as a spoiler!?) it moves to London and a quite dark and violent tale of murder and crime. 

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Britannia by Simon Scarrow
I've always enjoyed Simon Scarrow's books...pretty undemanding and fun reads...but I do think he's beginning to slip into Sharpe-mode with every minute of Macro and Cato's lives being filled with battles, plots and must be very exhausting!  This latest book is set in North Wales and sees our heroes besieging Anglesey.  Like his other books it's easy and entertaining but it would be nice to see him produce something different.

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The Princess Bridge by William Goldman
One of my favourite films (I annoy my wife and son by reciting dialogue whenever it's on...sad, I know) I wasn't sure what the original novel would be like but this was lovely.  A knowing take on fantasy and fairy tales that still manages to be charming and fun.

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Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre
Chris (up until recently billed as Christopher) Brookmyre is a brilliant Scottish writer.. part of the Tartan Noir genre.  His earlier books ('A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away', 'All Fun and Games Till Someone Loses an Eye' etc) were very funny, violent thrillers, often featuring  journalist, Jack Parlabane.  An attempt was made a few years ago to produce a TV version with James Nesbit which sank without trace thankfully. 

More recently he has produced a series of straighter police/detective novels as well as a couple of rather strange forays into SF/Fantasy..Pandaemonium and Bedlam (Bedlam especially didn't work in my opinion).  Black Widow is another Parlabane novel and a very good return to form. 

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Bloodline by Conn Iggulden
This is the 3rd in his Wars of the Roses series...the first 2 were excellent so I'm looking forward to this one.  I haven't started it yet but it was on sale for £3 the other week in WH Smiths so I couldn't resist buying it...the only downside was I had to buy a copy of the Telegraph as well but I've washed my hands since...

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Us by David Nicholls
I'm part-way through this at the moment.  David Nicholls has produced 3 novels which appear to be following my life...Starter for 10 about someone at uni in the 80s (just like me although I never appeared on Uni Challenge), One Day (about a couple who meet in the late 80s and which follows their relationship on the same day each year...not quite the same lives as my wife and I but some similarities) and finally Us about a couple who's son is about to leave for college...has he been stalking me??  To be fair the couple in Us are having a major relationship crisis and try to resolve it by travelling in Europe...we're off to Wales with the dogs and blissfully happy, looking forward to the peace and quiet when our son clears off to Uni!!

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