READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 11 Oct 2017, 05:28

If he did it wouldn't be an exciting life.....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 12 Oct 2017, 03:30

As I mentioned before, Dr Bridger is very hot on the bad effects of masturbation. It has reminded me of something a friend of mine told me about his experience of sex education at boarding school, and this was in the 1950s..... The master charged with the task had only one piece of advice, "Never masturbate in railway carriages!".
I don't know how many of you listen to Woman's Hour in the mornings on R4, I never miss it, one of the most sensible programmes on radio! This week, following the reports of child on child abuse they have been discussing sex education in early life, particularly in schools. What struck me is that in many cases these expert ladies (they were all ladies) are only called in when there has been an untoward incident. They should be part of the curriculum, some very sensible views.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by PanBiker » 12 Oct 2017, 11:28

On our holiday I finished reading "Agent Zigzag" by Ben Macintyre. It's the story of our most successful and notorious double agent of World War II. They say truth is stranger than fiction and this story is no exception. It tells the tale of Eddy Chapman who was a habitual criminal, womaniser and proper jack the lad, he enjoyed the thrill of criminality rather than the actual crimes he committed in and around London.

He escaped to Jersey at the beginning of the war to avoid (he thought) the long arm of the law but was imprisoned there on a minor unrelated manner just before the Germans invaded and took control of the island. He ended up being transferred to mainland France but told the Germans that he was prepared to work for them as a spy in exchange for money. The Germans trained him in all things spy like and gave him a mission (to blow up the De Havilland Mosquito factory) and chucked him out a plane in the dead of night over Norfolk. He went to the nearest farm and promptly turned himself in asking the farmer to ring Scotland Yard where he offered his tale and services to our spooks of the time.

They took him up on the offer and ran a disinformation campaign via his scheduled radio transmissions back to his German handlers. We feigned his given mission over here with some clever pyrotechnics and scenery provided by Jasper Maskelyne the trickster who developed inflatable tanks and aircraft for deception purposes. It was good enough to fool German air reconnaissance anyway. He was eventually sent back to France to the German Abwehr who accepted him as hero, gave him even more money another mission and another night flight to Norfolk. In the meantime during training for that, Eddy (who had a photographic memory) had been sent to Germany to be decorated with an Iron Cross. He saw top secret plans for V weapons and committed to memory everything technical that he had been given access to.

Groundhog day for our hero on his second mission for the Germans, he was back with our SOE within one day of his parachute drop. We used the trajectory information that he had committed to memory to successfully dupe the Germans via radio reports into over or under ranging a good proportion of the V1's lobbed at London.

He had a string of women in the UK, France, Germany and Norway and one that he left by jumping through a window at a hotel when escaping the long arm of the law when it all started. He had the spooks on both sides of the channel keep his lady friends in accommodation and allowance all throughout the duration of the war. He had a child to one in the UK but ended up after the war with the one he abandoned at the restaurant.

He was paid by the UK and the Germans but he spent most of the money on his frivolous lifestyle. The Germans gave him an Iron Cross and we gave him immunity from prosecution for his criminal past. He continued after the war on the fringes of the criminal underworld and was once many years later hauled before magistrates after a fight in pub, he did his own defence and said that in no way would he have hit the bloke over the head with a glass, "I could have killed him with my bare hands". The magistrate agreed and he walked away.

A proper ripping yarn all supported by previously classified "Ultra" documentation. I will look out for some other title by the same author he has covered "Operation Mincemeat" the dead body ruse to cover the landings in Sicily, and "Double Cross" the misinformation campaign for a Calais invasion fleet to cover for the Normandy landings.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 30 Oct 2017, 06:28

I went back to an old favourite and have been reading 'The Citadel' by Andrew Cronin. It was published in 1937 and was instrumental in starting the first thinking about the NHS. By coincidence I see it's the Morning Book on BBC R4 at 10:45 every morning this week. A good read, as are all Cronin's books.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 01 Nov 2017, 06:21

I finished 'The Citadel' yesterday and have started on 'The stars look down'. It's a first hand account of anthracite mining in South Wales in the inter war years. Good social history as well as a good story.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 04 Nov 2017, 06:30

'The Stars Look Down' is going well and is well worth a read. Cronin knew what he was talking about and the story he tells is an indictment of the way the coal industry was run by the old competitive mine owners. A powerful read!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Sue » 04 Nov 2017, 07:56

Still reading Samuel Pepys, only one and a half years left. The politics are heavy going, never my strong point
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 04 Nov 2017, 08:22

But a rattling good story! (And it has some dirty bits......)
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 05 Nov 2017, 06:54

I grabbed another hour of Cronin yesterday. I have to force myself to put it down! If you want an authentic picture of the coal mining industry in the early 20th century you can't do much better than this!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 07 Nov 2017, 07:11

I finished it last night. A bleak ending, Andrew Cronin doesn't let you down easily. I put it back on the shelf in the front room and picked my next one, 'The Northern Light'
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 09 Nov 2017, 06:52

Raced through that and have 'Hatter's Castle' out now.......
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 14 Nov 2017, 06:46

I am steadily working my way though Hatter's Castle. Note that I do not say I am enjoying it! It is a tale of unrelieved gloom, bullying, sudden death, cancer and at the moment financial ruin. I've forgotten the ending and have resisted having a peek but it's about time the pressure was lifted from this reader! It says much for the quality of the writing that my masochism is being sustained.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 15 Nov 2017, 04:50

I finished Hatter's Castle thank god! The gloom persisted until the very last page with a child hanging herself.....
I doubt if I shall ever read it again. It's back on the shelf and I have 'The Spanish Gardener' ready for a start. I can't remember anything at all about the story......
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 17 Nov 2017, 05:30

I finished 'The Spanish Gardener' yesterday. Another litany of human failings, misery and death! I decided I have had enough Cronin and have got Kipling's 'The Day's Work' out. I need cheering up!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Tripps » 17 Nov 2017, 10:54

The speed with which you devour your books is remarkable. :smile: I've got dozens with a page marker about a quarter way through them. I found a menu in one last week from Harry Ramsden's chippy in Guisely. I might scan it in - prices are interesting.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 18 Nov 2017, 03:52

I've always been a fast reader David and at times I have been accused of skimming but comprehension tests at Lancaster proved that I was above average in that as well. I've always been good at gutting a book as well, going through the pages in as little as ten minutes and picking up the gist or salient points. I don't claim any credit, it's just the way my brain is wired I suppose.
Reading yesterday was this week's PE.....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 24 Nov 2017, 07:49

I had an hour with 'The Day's Work' yesterday and read the first of the stories, 'The Bridge Builders'. If you've never looked at this you could get a pleasant surprise. Published in 1898 it's a book in which Kipling isn't in full blown Jingo mode but demonstrating his deep understanding of the world of work and in particular, engineering. Lovely stuff.......
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 28 Nov 2017, 07:20

I had another hour of 'The Day's Work' and it's lovely stuff. If you've never read it have a look......
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Tripps » 30 Nov 2017, 21:42

I managed to get it onto my Kindle - I'm a bit of a Kipling fan. I was unaware of it, and find It interesting.

My latest blagging technique is to go to project Gutenburg , download the book, then email it to myself at my kindle address. It then miraculously appears in the reading list. :smile:
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 01 Dec 2017, 03:49

Good! What I like about the book especially is how accurate he is with the technicalities, as far as I can judge from my experience, faultless. Good history as well.....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 05 Dec 2017, 06:57

I've finished 'The Day's Work' and am re-reading 'Puck of Pook's Hill' again. I have an edition published in 1939 (First published in 1906) and it's in as good condition as the day it was printed. Lovely clear typeface.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 06 Dec 2017, 04:19

Puck is very relaxing......
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 10 Dec 2017, 05:09

I'm well into 'Rewards and Fairies' and as always it is a delightful read.
I've been a good lad and paid my credit card off ready for the New Year but yesterday I realised that I had fallen behind my friend Norman Davies' output of books. I ordered 'Vanished Kingdoms' and 'Beneath Another Sky' yesterday....... Both in hardback, Norman is best read in hardback!!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 12 Dec 2017, 06:28

Image

I finished Rewards and Fairies yesterday and went on to Arthur C Clarke.... Then the postman turned up with Norman's 2011 book 'Vanished Kingdoms'. Lovely big well-produced hardback. Always a plus for me, I love the weight and feel! It's an 800 page read and something I can sink my teeth into as I continue with my exile from the shed!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by plaques » 12 Dec 2017, 08:51

Reading your recommendation Re: Norman Davies's book on Poland. "God's Playground: Never realized the history of Poland was so complicated. To be honest I'll never remember all that detail. Having said that it makes you aware of the background to what Germany and Russia were up to in the mid 1850's.

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