Sorry folks, haven't posted in ages. First I've been busy, then quailed at the book backlog. I'm on mastodon if anyone wants to keep up.
Put on some weight in lockdown, lost it again. Trying to keep up with the running though I have some kind of problem that's keeping me very slow, haven't entered a race in a while.
Just going to do very brief summaries of the books as there's such a backlog. Hopefully more to come!
What I'm Reading
Howl's Moving Castle Children's book by one of my favourite authors that I somehow never got around to reading. Good fun, thought the kid would be bored by the rather domestic setting but he liked it. I think some of the stuff about the vanity of the magician Howl and the contrast between his impressive show and modest home went over his head.
What I'm Reading 2
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'engle. Another classic children's book. The kid liked it in the end though he was a bit bored by the early chapters. Wasn't too scary.
What I'm Reading 3
The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich. Long book rounding up accounts of female Soviet soldiers during WW2. Interesting book though as you'd expect there's a fair amount of tragedy.
What I'm Reading 4
The Stranger Times by C.K. McDonnell. Comedy urban fantasy when a new journalist at kind of Fortean-Times-Meets-Weekly-World-News encounters genuine magic. Fairly entertaining, with enough mixture of comedy and action that it's worth reading though nothing there is that original. Does have one fantastic speech where the tabloid editor is horrified at the suggestion they make something up.
What I'm Reading 5
Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie. Good biography, putting her in context and demolishing some myths. Disappointingly the "Potemkin Villages" turn out not to be a real thing, they were a later addition to the story. She did seem to have a lot more sex than I was expecting, with several lovers.
What I'm Reading 6
The Explorer by Katherine Rundell. Kids book with children stranded in the jungle after a plane crash. Was expecting something more survivally but they meet an Explorer and a lot of the focus is on the relationship with him. Kid thought it was OK, I found the guy a bit irritating.
What I'm Reading 7
Three Days in June by James O'Connell. Account of the paratroopers battle in the Falklands War, originallywritten and published by the soldiers itself. As you'd expect it's a bit rough around the edges but it's an absolutely fascinating and nailbiting account of war from the soldiers' perspective. They interviewed Argentine soldiers and officers too so there's information on all sides.
What I found fascinating is that this is a rare account of a modern war where both sides have peer levels of technology: there are jet planes, artillery and some early night vision equipment on both sides.
What I'm Reading 8
Atomic Habits by James Clear. Short self-help book about how to form useful habits. Pretty decent though it feels a little padded.
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