Wednesday, 12 August 2015

2015 Reading No.3

By the standards of recent years, this year's cerebral stimulation by the printed page has been pretty dire. I let the change of my personal web-page diaries to 1680x1050 screen format to excuse a change from eight books per entry to six and am still only just making the third entry of the year. In July... Halfway through July... And confession time: There's only five books this time due to one of them being horizontal! I know... I should try harder... It's partly the fault of a new Samsung tablet...

First one this time is Dominion by C.J. Sansom. It is set in an alternate history where Churchill did not become Prime Minister during the Second World War and Britain comes under German influence. There's a few of these about - I've read Dennis Wheatley's Black August before but enjoyed this more, though I have to say it took me a long while to get into the story and I much prefer this author's Matthew Shardlake series set in the 1500s. Still, a chilling look at what might have happened...

I do enjoy the absurdities of most of Tom Holt's work, but I found this one a bit harder to get into. In the end I still wasn't satisfied that some of the apparent illogic had been satisfactorily explained but there was much to chuckle over. Jury's out on this one...

During the 1970s and 1980s it was worth buying the Daily Mirror for this comic strip alone. There were other bits I enjoyed in it too, but Bill Tidy's wonderful Fosdyke Saga, all tripe and trotters was the first thing I went to every morning for another three wonderful frames ending in a joke that usually had me laughing out loud. No.12 in a series that I used to own the first seven or eight of. Now I need to find them again...

The third of three-in-a-row books that I found in a huge warehouse filled with second hand books in Somerset back in May. This is the first in Dennis Wheatley's Roger Brook series of books. The cover is off the Internet I'm afraid - my version was one of the red-covered cheap soft-backed editions with incredibly tiny writing published by Heron Books (Italy) in the 1970s. The cover had been ripped off and indeed the binding was so shot that throughout my reading of the book I read twenty to forty pages then threw that part of the book away as it fell into two pieces! But hey, it only cost me 50 pence! I'm still on the lookout for other books in this series, picking one up yesterday in a wonderfully chaotic book store in Morecambe. Due to parking restraints I'm going to have to go back to that one and look round more!

We meet Roger whilst still at school in this one. To avoid following his father into the Royal Navy, he takes it upon himself to run away, getting sidetracked through misfortune into being stranded in a France that will soon explode into revolution.

And lastly a lesson for us all... Never re-read at the age of over six decades something that made you laugh at the age of two decades. 'Cos it won't make you laugh this time round... Another confession... I couldn't even chivvy myself to the end... If you are twenty still, this is a good bet though!

Perhaps a few hard-to-relate-to books this time made me more inclined to spend time on FaceBook and playing Patience than reading. I'll try to get to article four of this series a bit faster than I did to this one!

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