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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:46 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 16290
Location: Oxford
Kern wrote:
1."The Impeachers" by Brenda Wineapple
2. "Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube" by Trav SD
3."The Shortest History of Germany" by James Hawes
4. "How Britain Ends - English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations" by Gavin Esler
5 ."The Shortest History of England" by James Hawes
6. "The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space" by Owen Hatherley
7. "Men at Arms" by Terry Pratchett
8. "Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk" by Ben Fountain
9. "Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain" by Sathnam Sanghera
10. "Wounds" by Fergal Keane
11. "The Lip" by Charlie Carroll
12. "Paying the Land" by Joe Sacco
13. "This Party's Dead: Grief, Joy, and Spilled Rum at the World's Death Festivals" by Erica Buist
14. "How the Word is Passed: a Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America" by Clint Smith
15. "What a Bloody Awful Country: Northern Ireland's Century of Division" by Kevin Meagher

16. "The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen" by Linda Colley

I've always been a bit of a constitutional nerd, believing that all society's ills can be cured by the correct balance of powers between the various branches of government and its citizens, with clear rights and responsibilities for all. Comparing different countries' constitutions, trying to understand what works, what doesn't, and what we can learn from is an endless form of intellectual fun for me. So this book was a natural choice for me, but I was surprised and fascinated by its contents.

Rather than a dry retelling of the origins and forms of the usual suspects (which in most comparative government courses is a mix of the US, Germany, and the UK, with a spattering of other examples to illustrate certain points), this is a vast review of the history of constitution making over the past 500 years and across the globe.

Colley's main argument is that the spread of the printing press coupled with the chaos of warfare made the idea of constitution-writing a great tool for nascent rulers to establish their states (shades of Eddie Izzard's "do you have a flag?") and bargain with their subjects in exchange for taxation and conscription. Pitcairn Island is used as an example of how ideas about constitutions are spread and how the exchange of ideas, aided by the printing press and the ship, went viral very early on. She also shows how even failed constitutions provided a folk memory that could be used by revolutionaries in times of revolt to provide a basis for their own legitimacy.

It's a compelling read, spotlighting people, places, and events that I hadn't come across before, and reminding us that an interconnected world is not a 21st century idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2021 10:28 
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Prince of Fops

Joined: 14th May, 2009
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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2021 18:58 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 16290
Location: Oxford
Kern wrote:
1."The Impeachers" by Brenda Wineapple
2. "Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube" by Trav SD
3."The Shortest History of Germany" by James Hawes
4. "How Britain Ends - English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations" by Gavin Esler
5 ."The Shortest History of England" by James Hawes
6. "The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space" by Owen Hatherley
7. "Men at Arms" by Terry Pratchett
8. "Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk" by Ben Fountain
9. "Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain" by Sathnam Sanghera
10. "Wounds" by Fergal Keane
11. "The Lip" by Charlie Carroll
12. "Paying the Land" by Joe Sacco
13. "This Party's Dead: Grief, Joy, and Spilled Rum at the World's Death Festivals" by Erica Buist
14. "How the Word is Passed: a Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America" by Clint Smith
15. "What a Bloody Awful Country: Northern Ireland's Century of Division" by Kevin Meagher
16. "The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen" by Linda Colley


17. "Feet of Clay" by Terry Pratchett

More pointed social satire with the Watch.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2021 16:33 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6201
Squirt wrote:
1.) The House Share - Kate Helm
2.) Rebecca -Daphne de Maurier
3.) The Black Cloud - Fred Hoyle
4.) Bad Move - Linwood Barclay
5.) The Longest Afternoon - Brendan Simms
6.) The Holocaust - Laurence Rees
7.) A Little Hatred - Joe Abercrombie
8.) Ghoster - Jason Arnopp
9.) Bad Guys - Linwood Barclay
10.) The Three Hostages - John Buchan
11.) Map Addict - Mike Parker
12.) Chastise - Max Hastings
13.) Three Corvettes - Nicholas Monsarrat
14.) Moonfleet - J. Meade Falkner
15.) Operation Pedestal - Max Hastings


16.) The Seeds of Time - John Wyndham

Collection of short sci-fi stories from the 1950s. They're mostly pretty interesting - "Dumb Martian" is clever, and "Survival" and "Compassion Circuit" could be made into creepy little horror short films if done well, and "Pillar to Post" could easily make an excellent, if confusing, time travel movie. They're 70 years old so they come with all the standard notes about old fashionedness - especially the gender politics of it all. Anyway, good little stories from a classic British sci-fier.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2021 9:05 
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Board Mother

Joined: 6th Apr, 2008
Posts: 11053
Location: Mount Olympus
Goddess Jasmine wrote:
1. Linwood Barclay - Fear the worst
2. Linwood Barclay - Too close to home
3. Linwood Barclay - Parting Shot
4. Linwood Barclay - The Accident
5. Linwood Barclay - No Time for Goodbye
6. Linwood Barclay - Broken Promise
7. Linwood Barclay - Far From True
8. Linwood Barclay - The Twenty-Three

These next four are from a 'bad' series about the same character Zack Walker.

9. Linwood Barclay - Bad Move
Zack moves to the suburbs from the city thinking there will be less crime and more moral there. Zack is naïve. A few murders as usual, some pretty obvious, some not so much. A couple of the story lines were really obvious, a couple of twists that I thought were really clever and some ridiculousness with a snake. I did feel bad for him at time though (Zack, not the snake).

10. Linwood Barclay - Bad Guys
Zack is back in the city and back as a reporter in the local newspaper on the city desk - as such, he gets to report on some crime. We are introduced to a new character, a private detective called Lawrence who I would totally want to meet in real life. Of course Zack manages to get himself into the thick of it again, but gets out alive.

11. Linwood Barclay - Bad Luck
This one had some really obvious story lines and a couple of twists again. Has a bear killed his dad? Do terrorists live on his dad's property now? Deals with domestic violence and cultism. Enjoyable read - easily kept me hooked.

12. Linwood Barclay - Bad News
This book made me feel really sorry for Zack, his marriage was affected and he kept apologising for just trying to do the right thing. In some instances I think I would have made the same choices, so why he was always in trouble for that and felt he had to keep apologising annoyed me a bit. Still an interesting book and deals with the morality Vs legality issue. More domestic violence and sexual assault/rape in this one, so be warned. It's not graphic though.

Enjoyed the series, particularly the last three books. I should add that they are all pretty easy reading, which is what I want when I have time for a couple of chapters before bed.

I'll definitely be reading the rest of his books (in fact I've already started my next one).

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 11:43 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6201
Squirt wrote:
1.) The House Share - Kate Helm
2.) Rebecca -Daphne de Maurier
3.) The Black Cloud - Fred Hoyle
4.) Bad Move - Linwood Barclay
5.) The Longest Afternoon - Brendan Simms
6.) The Holocaust - Laurence Rees
7.) A Little Hatred - Joe Abercrombie
8.) Ghoster - Jason Arnopp
9.) Bad Guys - Linwood Barclay
10.) The Three Hostages - John Buchan
11.) Map Addict - Mike Parker
12.) Chastise - Max Hastings
13.) Three Corvettes - Nicholas Monsarrat
14.) Moonfleet - J. Meade Falkner
15.) Operation Pedestal - Max Hastings
16.) The Seeds of Time - John Wyndham


17.) Salem's Lot - Stephen King

Spooky Vampire Shenanigans! This really reeled me in but seemed to fizzle out at the end - the last 50 pages took me about 10 days to get through.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 16:06 
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Sleepyhead

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 27219
Location: Kidbrooke
1 - "The Explorer" by James Smythe

I read this several years ago, and re-read it recently, as he has finally released the third book in the series, with a fourth on the way. He's an excellent author. The book is told from the perspective of a journalist on board a new space mission that aims simply to go as far as it can away from Earth, and then turn round and come right back.

Needless to say, things very much do not go according to plan.

It really conveys some of the helplessness and loneliness of being in space, in a ship you don't really know how to use. And it's super interesting, if you like that sort of thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 16:41 
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Participant in dramatic games

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 4075
Location: United Provinces
Just finished ‘M. Son of the century’. Amazing book about mussolini, told like it is a novel. Really weird to be so close to a dictator. The writer himself got all paranoia writing it. Antonio scuracchi. https://www.amazon.com/M-Son-Century-An ... B08KFQHLMH

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 11:19 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 16290
Location: Oxford
Kern wrote:
1."The Impeachers" by Brenda Wineapple
2. "Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube" by Trav SD
3."The Shortest History of Germany" by James Hawes
4. "How Britain Ends - English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations" by Gavin Esler
5 ."The Shortest History of England" by James Hawes
6. "The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space" by Owen Hatherley
7. "Men at Arms" by Terry Pratchett
8. "Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk" by Ben Fountain
9. "Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain" by Sathnam Sanghera
10. "Wounds" by Fergal Keane
11. "The Lip" by Charlie Carroll
12. "Paying the Land" by Joe Sacco
13. "This Party's Dead: Grief, Joy, and Spilled Rum at the World's Death Festivals" by Erica Buist
14. "How the Word is Passed: a Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America" by Clint Smith
15. "What a Bloody Awful Country: Northern Ireland's Century of Division" by Kevin Meagher
16. "The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen" by Linda Colley
17. "Feet of Clay" by Terry Pratchett


18. "The Anglo-Saxons" by Marc Morris

Fast-paced look at the history of the England after the Romans disappeared but before the Normans came. Pretty comprehensive about the key families, the divisions, the Vikings, and Rex Factor fans will be relieved to know that Dunstan remains a knob. I would perhaps like more about every day life but as an overview of what happened before William the Bastard it's a good introduction.

The print version has colour plates of various Saxon hordes but they came out mono on my Kindle.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 11:45 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6201
Squirt wrote:
1.) The House Share - Kate Helm
2.) Rebecca -Daphne de Maurier
3.) The Black Cloud - Fred Hoyle
4.) Bad Move - Linwood Barclay
5.) The Longest Afternoon - Brendan Simms
6.) The Holocaust - Laurence Rees
7.) A Little Hatred - Joe Abercrombie
8.) Ghoster - Jason Arnopp
9.) Bad Guys - Linwood Barclay
10.) The Three Hostages - John Buchan
11.) Map Addict - Mike Parker
12.) Chastise - Max Hastings
13.) Three Corvettes - Nicholas Monsarrat
14.) Moonfleet - J. Meade Falkner
15.) Operation Pedestal - Max Hastings
16.) The Seeds of Time - John Wyndham
17.) Salem's Lot - Stephen King


18.) Lusitania: Triumph, Tragedy, and the End of the Edwardian Age - Greg King & Penny Wilson

Fairly interesting book on the sinking of the Lusitania. Skewed very heavily to the lives of the first class passengers, presumably because there's just more written sources about them, but there was almost no mention of third class passengers or the ordinary crew members. The actual sinking and the investigation afterwards get pretty short shrift.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 13:08 
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Board Mother

Joined: 6th Apr, 2008
Posts: 11053
Location: Mount Olympus
Goddess Jasmine wrote:
1. Linwood Barclay - Fear the worst
2. Linwood Barclay - Too close to home
3. Linwood Barclay - Parting Shot
4. Linwood Barclay - The Accident
5. Linwood Barclay - No Time for Goodbye
6. Linwood Barclay - Broken Promise
7. Linwood Barclay - Far From True
8. Linwood Barclay - The Twenty-Three
9. Linwood Barclay - Bad Move
10. Linwood Barclay - Bad Guys
11. Linwood Barclay - Bad Luck
12. Linwood Barclay - Bad News

13. Linwood Barclay - Trust your eyes

One of my favourites so far. Ray goes home when his father dies and has to deal with his brother who has the ability to memorise maps. There's some really clever writing in this one, although there was one really jarring chapter. I don't know if it was an editorial decision to shoehorn in what makes the online maps (like the Google cars), but as the book was written in 2012 I muttered a bit and then forgave it. It felt like the author has a first-hand take on the assumptions made about individuals with schizophrenia and how these are perceived and treated. I'd definitely recommend it.

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GJ is right.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:30 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 16290
Location: Oxford
Kern wrote:
1."The Impeachers" by Brenda Wineapple
2. "Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube" by Trav SD
3."The Shortest History of Germany" by James Hawes
4. "How Britain Ends - English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations" by Gavin Esler
5 ."The Shortest History of England" by James Hawes
6. "The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space" by Owen Hatherley
7. "Men at Arms" by Terry Pratchett
8. "Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk" by Ben Fountain
9. "Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain" by Sathnam Sanghera
10. "Wounds" by Fergal Keane
11. "The Lip" by Charlie Carroll
12. "Paying the Land" by Joe Sacco
13. "This Party's Dead: Grief, Joy, and Spilled Rum at the World's Death Festivals" by Erica Buist
14. "How the Word is Passed: a Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America" by Clint Smith
15. "What a Bloody Awful Country: Northern Ireland's Century of Division" by Kevin Meagher
16. "The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen" by Linda Colley
17. "Feet of Clay" by Terry Pratchett
18. "The Anglo-Saxons" by Marc Morris


19. "How to Make the World Add Up" by Tim Harford

An extended edition of Radio 4's excellent "More or Less", more or less. Would have preferred to see a wider scope of examples than just Britain and the US, but a useful reminder about how to avoid statistical follies nonetheless.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:10 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6201
Squirt wrote:
1.) The House Share - Kate Helm
2.) Rebecca -Daphne de Maurier
3.) The Black Cloud - Fred Hoyle
4.) Bad Move - Linwood Barclay
5.) The Longest Afternoon - Brendan Simms
6.) The Holocaust - Laurence Rees
7.) A Little Hatred - Joe Abercrombie
8.) Ghoster - Jason Arnopp
9.) Bad Guys - Linwood Barclay
10.) The Three Hostages - John Buchan
11.) Map Addict - Mike Parker
12.) Chastise - Max Hastings
13.) Three Corvettes - Nicholas Monsarrat
14.) Moonfleet - J. Meade Falkner
15.) Operation Pedestal - Max Hastings
16.) The Seeds of Time - John Wyndham
17.) Salem's Lot - Stephen King
18.) Lusitania: Triumph, Tragedy, and the End of the Edwardian Age - Greg King & Penny Wilson


Bit of a "holiday reading" boost this week!

19.) The Trouble with Peace - Joe Abercrombie.
The follow-up to No 7. above. Suffered a bit from "middle book of a trilogy" syndrome, but still very good. Wouldn't start here though, it assumes a quite a large amount of knowledge of "the world". Looking forward to it all wrapping up in the next one.

20.) Time's Eye - Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter.
Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey! Sci-Fi bunkum where the army of Alexander the Great, along with some Victorian British troops, fight Ghengis Kahn. All very silly, but well enough written that you allow it to go through. Perfect sci-fi beach read, but nothing more.

21.) The Destroyers - Douglas Reeman.
All of Douglas Reeman's books are essentially the same. Some boats fight some other boats. Some one has trouble with authority, authority has trouble with them. A fiery red head teaches someone to love again. More fights. More boats. Duty and honour prevails.

22.) Ripley Under Ground - Patricia Highsmith.
Follow up to "The Talented Mr Ripley" - not quite as good, didn't have quite the level of cat-and-mouse, will-he-won't-he of the first book. But a good story and Ripley is the same ol' charming sociopath. I really like Highsmith and I shall read more!


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