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Just finished reading Tom Crean - An Unsung Hero. A fabulous book of human grit determination 100 odd years ago alongside Scott and Shackleton in the Antarctic. Unputdownable.

Just starting Adrian Newey - How to build a car. The worlds greatest F1 car designer? Watch this space...
 

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Last one was Where the Crawdags Sing

enjoyable lockdown read
 

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Just finished "Wolf Hall", a historical fiction about Thomas Cromwell. A bit difficult to read at first, just the way the narrative is written, but I'm glad I persevered. Prior to that I read Ken Follett's "Century" trilogy, more historical fiction about the last century...fascinating story line and guaranteed to teach you something about world history from pre-WW1 all the way up tp Obama's election. Start with "Fall of Giants". I highly recommend these books.

Also reading "The Nikki Chronicles" by Terry Goodkind.. a continuation of his "Sword of Truth" series (14+ books and counting)......pure fantasy, magic and such. These are books I can pick up and breeze through when nothing else is on my radar. Last fall I read Follett's "Kingsbridge" trilogy starting with "Pillar's of the Earth"...historical fiction set in 12th century England. Excellent reading.
Hey Ed

If you like historical fiction, you might enjoy some of Bernard Cornwell's books. The Sharpe series is the one I am familiar with, Napoleonic war period, but I believe there are others in different epochs. I got lazy and have the DVD set of Sharpe.

In a similar vane, but slightly different, George MacDonald Fraser's the Flashman series can be quite amusing, a sort of an undeserving anti-hero, a cad and a coward, in very historically accurate setting.

One of my favourites is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's (he of sherlock Holmes fame) the Exploits of Brigadier Gerard and the Adventures of Brigadier Gerard. Napoleonic era again, but it is about a French cavalry officer who is an excellent swordsman.
 

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@MacStrine .... I read and laughed my ass off at the entire Flashman series years ago....he also has a non-humorous historical fiction book I read that you may enjoy The Candlemass Road
 

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@MacStrine .... I read and laughed my ass off at the entire Flashman series years ago....he also has a non-humorous historical fiction book I read that you may enjoy The Candlemass Road
You laughing your ass off reminded me of something, and as I recall you are a baseball fan?

I attracted a lot of unsolicited attention as a result of laughing so much on the train to work years ago while reading The Great American Novel by Philip Roth. It is a story about a fictional baseball team with no home ground, so they are constantly on the road, in the fictional Patriot League. I think it was set in the depression era, and may be somewhat based on real events that occurred in baseball at that time, like match fixing? I am not sure how well it has aged, but I do remember laughing a lot while reading it. I have never met anyone, include baseball loving yanks, that have ever heard of this book.
 

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My library doesn't have that....though it has other titles by the author.
I'll have to try and find a copy. Thanks
 

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Just finished Gallipoli by Peter Fitzsimons, a compelling and easy to read 700 page account of the Dardanelles Campaign, from both the Allied and Ottoman experience, with a particular focus on the bravery and privations of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).

The amphibious landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April 1915 is marked annually as a public holiday in Australia and New Zealand as ANZAC Day.

The Dardanelles Campaign is probably largely unknown outside of Turkey, Australia, New Zealand and those interested in military history, as the carnage and suffering of the western front had many years to run. Allied casualties in the Dardanelles, including those on ships sunk, was 44,000 dead, the first day of the Somme saw approx 20,000 dead. Just one day.

Fitzsimons' book also details the exploits of Australian submarine AE2, which managed to stealth its way up to the Sea of Marmara and sink a cruiser, but mechanical failure meant it was eventually caught, with all the crew taken prisoner after a last second escape from the sinking craft. In 1998 a Turkish engineer located the AE2 lying at 72 metres.

One of the more interesting things about history for mine is the subsequent cause and effect. An Australian journalist by the name of Keith Murdoch played a very significant role in convincing the British War Cabinet to evacuate all the troops from the Dardanelles. That evacuation, organised and coordinated by an Aussie, was an outstanding success, in fact, the only really successful aspect of the whole campaign. (Apart from creating grieving Turkish families, 87,000 of them.) Murdoch had a son, Rupert, who is one of the richest and most powerful men in the world.

The final word I think rests with Mustafa Kemal, a Turkish officer who probably more than any other was responsible for keeping the allies stuck clinging to the ridges and beaches like a 'cat clinging on to a curtain'. Kemal became Turkeys first president, and created the modern secular Turkish state. In 1935, twenty years after the fighting, he wrote:

'Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives ... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore, rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us, where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours ... you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.'
 

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Last book finished was "The forgotten Highlander" by Alastair Urquhart

Just try to imagine . Captured by the Japanese, then spent nearly two years in the jap labor camps -- watching most of his comrades die from starvation and insane abuse ..
Then he was sent on the "hellships" to mainland Japan .. The ship was then torpedoed, but he survived 5 days adrift on a raft, only to be picked up by a japanese fishingboat, and sent to work 10 miles from Nagasaki ... :oops:
 

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Currently reading Steinheist, commercial fraud thriller covering the full inside story on the 2017 Steinhoff collapse and the lead up to it. One of the best books I've read to date.

 

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I am reading this fantastic Science fiction book right now, high recommended.

 

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Just finished Gallipoli by Peter Fitzsimons,
Thanks for your post, I have studied Gallipoli to some degree, mainly from Churchill's strategy and the technical challenges. One big upside, and lesson of the Gallipoli campaign: it was a guiding lesson for later WW II invasions of Europe and Pacific. I am sure my dad benefitted as he was at Normandy on June 4th, 1944.

Salute from a Yank.
 
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Thanks for your post, I have studied Gallipoli to some degree, mainly from Churchill's strategy and the technical challenges. One big upside, and lesson of the Gallipoli campaign: it was a guiding lesson for later WW II invasions of Europe and Pacific. I am sure my dad benefitted as he was at Normandy on June 4th, 1944.

Salute from a Yank.
Hey yank, if you like, I will post this book to you. If you are keen, send me your postal address via private message.
 

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I'm currently reading "a brief history of time".
The most unfinished book in Google books.

Fascinating, mind boggling, humbling (we are all insignificant), challenging. Some parts I have to read a few times to really start to understand it and I probably still don't really.
To think Hawkins was made to rewrite it numerous times to dumb it down because his editor couldn't understand it and it is still challenging.
 

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BMW HP4 Carbon 2013, ZX10R Gen 1 2004, F3 800 2017
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If your talking funny books, I picked up a copy of this from a bargain bin in the Virgin mega store in Glasgow circa mid 80s for 50p

I can honestly say I've never read a book before or since where I have actually burst out laughing reading it.. its so, so funny with loads of brilliant stories of Moons life written by Dougal Butler who was his driver and guardian angel..

The one story I remember was his Sunday morning crash in the small village he lived in, Moon drove his Rolls off the road right through a hedge and ended upside down in a field, the local priest out for a leisurely cycle stopped to survey the carnage and asked a bystander what was going on...to be told "oh it's only Keith, but he's OK" at that he shook his head and cycled on !.. well worth a read and told by a guy who was there every step of the way...


2017 F3 800, HP4 Comp, ZX10R
 

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Is that Thing Diesel by Paul Carter.

Motorcyclist and author Carter had been living the dangerous life of an international off shore oil rig worker, when marriage and a wee daughter saw him living in the suburbs of Perth.

Looking for another adventure, he decided to ride around Australia on a diesel bike powered by used cooking oil. The only bike he could find was a project of Uni of South Aust students, a Cagiva enduro with a Yanmar industrial diesel in it. It vibrated a lot apparently, a real lot, and left a blue cloud in its wake that smelled like fish n chips. I wonder if silver gulls followed him around?

Carter used his considerable contacts to organise, support and sponsor his trip, and the book is full of amusing anecdotes and observations, a light, blokey read. An interesting coincidence occurred when they were in the middle of nowhere, when they came upon some Canadian backpackers. One of them recognised Carter, and produced a copy of his earlier book Don't Tell Mum I Work On The Rigs, She Thinks I am a Piano Player in a Whorehouse, and asked Carter to autograph it.
 

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Is that Thing Diesel by Paul Carter.

Motorcyclist and author Carter had been living the dangerous life of an international off shore oil rig worker, when marriage and a wee daughter saw him living in the suburbs of Perth.

Looking for another adventure, he decided to ride around Australia on a diesel bike powered by used cooking oil. The only bike he could find was a project of Uni of South Aust students, a Cagiva enduro with a Yanmar industrial diesel in it. It vibrated a lot apparently, a real lot, and left a blue cloud in its wake that smelled like fish n chips. I wonder if silver gulls followed him around?

Carter used his considerable contacts to organise, support and sponsor his trip, and the book is full of amusing anecdotes and observations, a light, blokey read. An interesting coincidence occurred when they were in the middle of nowhere, when they came upon some Canadian backpackers. One of them recognised Carter, and produced a copy of his earlier book Don't Tell Mum I Work On The Rigs, She Thinks I am a Piano Player in a Whorehouse, and asked Carter to autograph it.
I read both of those. Not bad reads.
 

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Charge! by Justin Pollard. Sub-titled The Interesting Bits of Military History.

Books like this are easy to read on public transport or when you have limited time, lots of short anecdotes. Some of the stories are almost too funny or strange to be true, but as the saying goes, fact is stranger than fiction. Here is one of the more odd examples:
  • Blucher, the Prussian general who arrived in time to save Wellington at Waterloo, told Wellington that at age 72, he was pregnant, with an elephant, and it had been a French officer that had made him so. He had apparently been unwell for some time, at one point telling his staff that his head was made of stone and asked someone to hit it with a hammer. Advanced syphillis would be my bet.
 

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I have recently re-read A Short History of Stupid by Bernard Keane and Helen Razer. The authors, both journos and writers, take an insightful and humorous look at the decline of critical thinking and reason, why society is being so dumb. The book was published in 2014 and there has been some world class dumb going on since then, so perhaps it was prescient.

The authors say that some of the blame lies with reality TV, Oprah and that sort of thing.
 
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