Saturday, 11 May 2013

Currently Reading - May 2013

Just a short post today as I enjoy the FA Cup Final between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City. I hope it's an exciting game.

From my last post, I'm continuing my Ian Fleming focus, I'm currently reading Dr. No, the 19th 1963 Pan printing, with the loverly Ursula Andress on the cover. In this thriller, Bond, recovering from his previous case, is sent by M to Jamaica to look into the mysterious disappearance of their Station Chief there, John Strangways and his assistant. M thinks it will be a bit of a vacation for Bond, but is quite wrong as Bond, capably assisted by his old friend, Quarry and new acquaintance, Honeychile Rider, must battle Dr. No on Crab Key, a small island off the coast of Jamaica. I'm enjoying very much so far; have read it once previously, but it still seems fresh and interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes, as I can't remember how it ends, either the movie or the book.

I'm also enjoying, about half way through, one of my Reading Group Challenge (12 + 2) books, Stephen Clarke`s 1000 Years of Annoying the French. A nice history light book, Clarke follows a variety of incidents, historical events where the French and British have been in conflict, along the way trying to dispel some myths that have arisen over time. I`m enjoying it very much, it flows nicely, Clarke provides a nice level of humour in his writing style, but at the same time is very informative in discussing each specific conflict. Starting with the Battle of Hastings in 1066, working through Joan of Arc, Napoleon and many other incidents, Clarke has created a well-crafted, interesting history. If you want to know who actually invented the guillotine or put the bubbles in champagne, plus sundry other facts and historical events, this is the book for you. I'm currently reading about Napoleon Bonaparte, the Emperor of France, his plans to invade Britain, his battles with Admiral Nelson. Great book.

I'm reading three books at the moment, trying to shuffle between them so each gets fair treatment. The Eagle of the Ninth Chronicles were written between 1954 and 1997 (released posthumously), with the original trilogy; The Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch and The Lantern Bearers released between 1954 and 1959. The stories in the edition I have contain these three stories and I'm reading them as part of a Travel Thru Time genre challenge. From Apr - Jun we are reading stories from Ancient Times. I read the first book in the series back in my Public School days, but other than remembering the name, couldn't recall the story. I'm glad to have rediscovered it as I'm enjoying the first book very much. It follows Marcus Aquila as he travels through Valentia and Caledonia, trying to discover what really happened to the 9th Legion, his father's legion, which disappeared in mysterious circumstances. Supposedly a young adult story, I still find it readable for adults; a most enjoyable story so far. I'm looking forward to the next books as well, as they follow the Aquila family in these ancient times.

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