READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

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Stanley
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 13 Dec 2017, 04:31

I couldn't take it all in either P but that doesn't matter, main thing is that it alerts us to how complicated their history is. Do you remember Stan's Story about the Polish paratrooper that I wrote the articles on? I am still regarded well by the local Polish Community!
Arthur Clarke got his teeth into me yesterday. Finished 2001, read 2010 and have started on 2061..... Norman is sitting there in reserve. Clarke is quite amazing!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 14 Dec 2017, 07:10

I'm well into the last odyssey, 3001.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Nolic » 14 Dec 2017, 07:18

I have been reading Harry Bingham's "Fiona Griffiths" novels. She is a South Wales detective with a very different approach to crime and investigation that stems from her teenage struggles with Cotard's Delusion - a rare mental illness that makes sufferers belive they are dead. If you want a very different type of crime novel, written in the first person then give the books a try. Nolic
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 14 Dec 2017, 07:29

Morning Comrade!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Nolic » 14 Dec 2017, 11:46

Good morning Stanley. Nolic
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 15 Dec 2017, 04:17

Finished 3001 yesterday. I can get into Norman now. Good job my finger is almost right, it's a heavy book to hold!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 16 Dec 2017, 06:42

Started on Norman. He is excellent as usual.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 18 Dec 2017, 06:56

Norman is brilliant. He retains your interest with a constant flow of little known facts, you are learning all the time from him. For instance I had forgotten that the name Cumbria derives from what we call Welsh but was in fact the Northern Celts, the Ancient Britons..... I recommend it to you all.
See THIS for a hardcover copy for a third of what I paid! I forgot to look on Bookfinder first!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by plaques » 18 Dec 2017, 08:44

Stanley wrote:
18 Dec 2017, 06:56
Cumbria derives from what we call Welsh but was in fact the Northern Celts
. He mentions this kind of name study in his Polish history book. Onomastics, for those who like to impress people.

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 19 Dec 2017, 04:49

Have a look at Dialect for another of his esoteric words.....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 20 Dec 2017, 06:28

If anyone ever doubts the historical value of genealogical research, read this book! The evidence is almost all from relationships....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 21 Dec 2017, 04:47

Norman's latest book, 'Beneath Another Sky' arrived yesterday.....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by plaques » 21 Dec 2017, 08:34

Just finished his book 'History of Poland'. Very academic with masses of detail possibly more suited towards the serious student rather than the casual reader. Having said that I'm glad I read it and you can see why the EU is determined to bring some degree of control to the area. It wouldn't take much for the old prejudices to break out again.
My next book is 'Death of a Nation' A new History of Germany. A mighty tome of a book (650+ 200 of ref), You would think this subject has been done to death but claims he has looked more from their prospective rather than our more propaganda based histories. I'll see how it goes.

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 22 Dec 2017, 05:44

Well done for staying the course with 'God's Playground'! You're right, it's a demanding read but it opened my eyes to the difference between a European nation and an island state. I don't know 'Death of a Nation' but I reckon you're on the right track. I don't see how anyone can have a clear view of the value of the EU if they haven't taken the trouble to learn something about the history. God knows it's complicated! You need to look at the Thirty years War as well. I was once told to write an essay on it and I asked the tutor who was playing! He told me I was on the right track but I'm not certain I have a complete grasp even now. My current read, 'Vanished Kingdoms', goes into excruciating detail on the dynastic and political tangle that resulted in the modern states of Europe. I shall never know it all.... But I think it qualifies me to make some assessments of Brexit!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by plaques » 22 Dec 2017, 10:30

Eat your heart out Stanley. Picked up a brand new copy of both volumes of 'Gods Playground' for £3. at the Samaritans book stall in Colne Market Hall. I would recommend anyone to pop in and have a look round. 95% of the books are priced 50p and hundreds to choose from. Also drop off any of your surplus reads while you're at it.

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 23 Dec 2017, 03:55

Mine was cheap as well P. I forget what I paid for the two hardback volumes but it was on Bookfinder and as a rule difficult reads or esoteric subjects are dirt cheap.....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 29 Dec 2017, 07:47

I'm almost half way through Norman's book, 'Vanished Kingdoms'. If you can't stand dynastic genealogy this isn't the read for you! No way anyone could remember this lot.... However, if you persevere you learn surprising and interesting facts, strange connections pop up and esoteric facts that would go down a bomb at a pub quiz night! Just one for you.... reading the early history of what we now call Belarus.... It predates Russia and was far larger. For instance, I have always got the impression that when Philip III sent the Armada against England he was ruler of an ancient kingdom. Not so! Large areas of what we now know as Spain were occupied by others and Philip's kingdom was a fairly new entity.... Another one for you, thinking about the present problems Catalonia is having with the Spanish government, at one time Catalonia was a massive kingdom long before Spain emerged and memories of this are still strong in the region and affect attitudes like the present desire for independence.
It's hard work ploughing through the dynastic relationships but you learn new things and also realise just how important they were, they were the catalyst for many changes in Europe and an essential factor in history.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Wendyf » 29 Dec 2017, 08:02

On a lighter note, I have just finished Jensen Button's autobiography. I bought it for Craig as a Xmas present and he left it for me to read. :smile: Very interesting and an insight into the world of F1.

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 30 Dec 2017, 04:06

I feel like something lighter Wendy but my Puritan Work Ethic drives me on despite the dynastic complications.....
One thing I have realised is that the History of the Isles is far more simple. All we had to bother about was foreign invaders!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 01 Jan 2018, 06:34

I was confirmed yesterday in my opinion that slogging through the minutiae of Norman's dynastic genealogy can produce nuggets of solid gold. I finished his massive exploration of Belarus and found that it was actually the history of Prussia and contains many clues to the causes of the two World Wars. I came out of the chapter with many more insights into what actually happened! He is particularly hard on the critics of Germany who start from the base that they are inherently militaristic and brutal. He points out that history is written by the victors and contrasts the treatment of Germany with that given to our ally in both wars (eventually) the Russians. I end up seeing the matter in a different light.... That's the power of a man like Norman, he sheds light into corners you didn't realise existed even though they are obvious. (Worth a look at P!)
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by plaques » 01 Jan 2018, 09:08

Down to the last few pages of 'Death of a Nation' A new History of Germany. (Lancashire Libraries) The chap who wrote this is a big fan of Norman Davies and references him throughout the book. Although he centres on Germany he is very wide ranging in the countries he covers. Gives lots of background history and pulls no punches when it comes to Hitler and Stalin. As you say when you look at what happened in the area round Poland, Czechoslovakia and German borders plus the countries that disappeared altogether you get the feeling that it will takes generations to sort out. An easier read than Norman's book but its not for the faint hearted or people with a sensitive disposition when you realize the terrors that they have gone through.
Haven't decided what I'm going to pick up next either memoirs of Mikhail Gorbachev or a much smaller Vince Cable 'The Storm'. All this is complicated by the fact I'm daft enough to buy about two a week from the Samaritan's book stall.

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 02 Jan 2018, 05:05

Good man P. Keep reading! Good people have done the research and can enlighten us if we take the trouble to let them into our lives..... Norman continues to surprise me and I love the way he slips in surprising bits of information.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 03 Jan 2018, 05:05

Norman is on to Gotha and Sax Coburg now..... This is going to be interesting!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by plaques » 03 Jan 2018, 08:38

Gotha and Sax Coburg now.... Considered as the Royal stud farm. Hundreds of minor Royals to chose from. Unfortunately some of them suffered from too much line breeding. Link.. About time we dropped all this Royalty business.

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 04 Jan 2018, 04:52

Norman covers the subject well and makes particular reference to the hereditary diseases and early deaths! He also comes up with some surprising facts and covers the PR campaign that started in the Great War to erase the German connection and manufacture a spurious link to the Normans, Plantagenets, Tudors and Stuarts. Well worth a read P!
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