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Roger Turner
Torksey
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1 of 71  Sun 20th May 2018 11:05pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2014  Total posts:572

Hi everybody. I mentioned in another thread that I would start this new topic as I felt it might interest those particularly with a wider interest in history. I pointed out that the term "favourites" for me is a bit of a misnomer, as I have spent a lifetime haunting second hand book shops and many have had a special meaning for me. Many of them are historical rather than fiction. I would be willing to lend. Anyway here are a few samples. Three Against Rommel Alexander Clifford The Desert Generals Correlli Barnett The General Salutes a Soldier (With the SAS and Commandos in WW2) JVByrne - I wouldn`t be surprised if Kaga hasn`t read these three. I also have one about the Green Jackets by Arthur Bryant In fact Arthur Bryant is my favourite Historian and I have over a dozen of his books - I can give titles later if anybody is interested. Mary Slessor of Calabar W.P.Livingstone. This is the story of a poor Scottish Girl who insisted she be sent as a missionary to Calabar in West Africa, there is a room in Dundee Museum recording her work which apart from passing the holy message could only be accomplished by dealing with local Headmen who were in to slavery (I mean internal slavery) and murder of twins and their mother and sacrifices when a great man died etc. It`s a truly wonderful story of this woman who lived amongst them in the bush and fought them headon (and I mean fisticuffs in some cases) I think there is a Mary Slessor Street in Coventry. Birkenhead - The life of FE Smith Lord Birkenhead written by his son. Lawyer and Home Secretary, explains a lot of how Ireland came to be partitioned. He also prosecuted Roger Casement,spy or collaborator who refused to take the "out" offered to him by Birkenhead and was hanged. It`s a heavy book, but I didn`t find it too stodgy and not least that he sailed on ships to the West Indies in the company I used to work for. I can also mention Mary Slessor also sailed in ships belonging to the company I worked for and in fact one of them was named after her.
Favourite Books
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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2 of 71  Mon 21st May 2018 10:54am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2845

Roger Turner, I guess my favourite guy was Ranulf Fiennes, he was an SAS soldier, explorer etc. He along with a top army doctor tested endurance for the Army. Then there was Lawrence of Arabia, to me the first SAS like type. Back in the fifties there wasn't the books of today but James Michener wrote some fine books about countries.
Favourite Books
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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3 of 71  Mon 21st May 2018 2:01pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1428

Apart from history books (obviously!) an author I particularly admire is Arthur C Clarke. I'm not generally "into" science fiction, but Clarke was a genuine man of science and had a knack of weaving so much scientific fact into his fiction (if that makes sense) that his stories have a air of believability. (As an aside, he came up with the idea for the geo-stationary satellite, which is kind of useful today!) My favourite book of his was Rendezvous with Rama, written in the early 1970s. Based a short while into our future when an meteorite wipes out a city of 6 million people, he begins with the development of Space Guard, a series of satellites mapping the trajectory of all asteroids in the hope of avoiding a repeat tragedy. Once again Clarke's inventive mind struck a chord, and we now have a real life Space Guard watching over us. But this story really begins when something other than an asteroid is detected approaching from across the Solar System..... I can't choose just one book though. I have to give Spike Milligan a special mention for having me laughing out loud at his war memoirs, beginning with Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall. Both of these books and the follow-up series can be borrowed if anyone wishes.
Favourite Books
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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4 of 71  Mon 21st May 2018 3:50pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2845

Rob, You must have heard of H.G. Wells 'War of the Worlds' read out over the radio by Orson Welles. It panicked people, caused mass hysteria, hundreds of people left their houses, 1930s time.
Favourite Books
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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5 of 71  Mon 21st May 2018 4:40pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2845

The book that made me want to get up and see for myself was about 'the man in the iron mask' mystery, so I visited the Island just south of Cannes were he supposed to have spent 11 years, I wasn't disappointed, a real creepy dark dungeon deep in the rock of the island, somehow it was much more spooky impressive than Arundel Castle dungeons.or any other I visited.
Favourite Books
Roger Turner
Torksey
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Thread starter
6 of 71  Tue 22nd May 2018 2:32pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2014  Total posts:572

Kaga Simpson, I`m glad you reminded me about James A Mitchener, I had quite forgotten about him, so I looked him up and realised I had read only one of his books Hawai (1959) which issue apparently coincided with that country becoming a USA state. If I remember correctly it was a thick powerful book that dealt primarily with the status of Japanese "guest workers" who had "stayed on" over many years before WW2 and were treated with suspicion and more when WW2 broke out. I think the book won some sort of prestigious prize and yes I would call it a favourite read at the time. You also reminded me that I had read another fantastic tome at that time and I looked up a chap I remembered as "Stone", turned out to be Irving Stone, who wrote the Agony and the Ecstasy (1958) which was about Michelangelo and particularly his work on the Frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, but I think also of his study of corpses to portray the exact muscular body form in artistic imagery. Again it was a big thick tome and I think won a prize, anyway very readable. Finally an all time favourite "Three men in a Boat" Jerome K Jerome, didn`t think so much of his "Three Men on a Bummel", but found another of his books a couple of years ago "Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow" which I thought great for its subtle mickytaking. Rob - haven`t been much of Science Fiction fiend, but did enjoy John Windham and "The Day of the Triffids" and others he wrote. Oh I must get in "Para Handy" (in the vernacular not the milksop TV parody) I have always said he was the greatest sailor who never sailed the seven seas! Apparently university professors packed it in their luggage and tested each other on the contents. Cheers
Favourite Books
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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7 of 71  Tue 22nd May 2018 4:53pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1428

On 21st May 2018 3:50pm, Kaga simpson said: Rob, You must have heard of H. G. Wells 'War of the Worlds' read out over the radio by Orson Wells. It panicked people, caused mass hysteria, hundreds of people left their houses, 1930s time.
Yes, I've not read the book but I know of it, and I heard about the reports of the panic caused because some people didn't realise it was a fictional account being read out on the radio. With the talk of war on the horizon, it must've been rather frightening for some.
Favourite Books
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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8 of 71  Wed 23rd May 2018 10:48am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2845

Roger Turner, D.H. Lawrence was married to a German woman, when the war started they were badly treated so they left London, went to Cornwall rented a small farm cottage, but people still treated them badly saying they were spies, the authorities raided their house several times smashed furniture threw their goods around, finding nothing incriminating they forced them to leave the house and district. THE MIRACLE OF BOOKS. Hawaii (Michener) found me in Honolulu watching the sun rise over Waikiki beach. The Source (Michener) found me watching the sun go down over Jerusalem. The fox (DH Lawrence) found me looking at fields in Cornwall from his garden. The snake (DH Lawrence) found me looking across lake Garda from his balcony Seven pillars of wisdom (TE Lawrence) found me wandering round Gaza. The man that broke the bank at Monte Carlo (?) found me placing chips in casino, Cannes. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown) found me visiting the Louvre The Commissariat (?) found me visiting Fremantle. Pompeii (?) found me watching the sunset across the bay of Naples. Cabral (?) found me visiting lands end in Portugal.
Favourite Books
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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9 of 71  Fri 8th Jun 2018 6:28pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2845

Roger Turner, Yes I did read the book 'A General salutes a soldier', somewhere in the book he mentioned Lance Corporal Lord. I'm almost certain it's the same Lord that became Sergeant Major Lord at Shornecliffe para barracks that trained me. One thing the book didn't say was, if they captured a guy they wanted to take back for interrogation, they would tie him up with just a shoe lace, and he would never get free, so they could pick him up later. But this is where my age group came in and trained by these old soldiers tricks of the trade before they were taken out of the training in 1945 along with a lot of weapons. But dozens of small espionage raids were carried out during the war and nothing was heard of them again and rumours spread over the years, but I have just read a book that confirmed what we had heard. Recently released papers made the book 'A spy among friends' by Ben Macintyre. I also like Carol Drinkwater and her Olive Tree books.
Favourite Books
Roger Turner
Torksey
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Thread starter
10 of 71  Fri 15th Jun 2018 9:54pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2014  Total posts:572

Kaga Simpson Sorry I have only just got round to replying to your last contribution to this book thread, I don`t know if reading has gone out of fashion, but it seems to have come down to thee and me. I haven`t come across Carol Drinkwater, but both my wife and I used to read R.F. Delderfield, particularly if I remember correctly a trio of his novels which covered the development of heavy transport, I think starting with steam driven, perhaps even horse drawn and coming up to modern days. "Swan on wheels" comes to mind. Delderfield was a prolific writer and I read quite a few of them and would probably recommend any of them. I used to read John Galsworthy, particularly the Forsyte Saga, and thought the TV serial was brilliant, but I also liked Anthony Trollope`s "churchy" ones like The Warden and Barchester Towers, but I tried one a year or so ago and found it too heavy, no it was a bit of a weight, I mean more about my lazy brain, perhaps it`s become more attuned to modern "get on with it stories". Sir Walter Scott is a favourite, particularly "The Heart of Midlothian" which is generally a medieval story about events on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh which runs from the Castle all the way down to Holyrood Palace and which I knew well from my job at one time of repping our products in gift shops the length of it. I also had a soft spot for "Ivanhoe", which was about Ashby de la Zouch Castle. I was evacuated in that area and attended Ashby Boys Grammar School, one of our classrooms was in the Manor House, situated next to the castle. Regarding war time spying I haven`t seen the one you mention by Ben Macintyre, but I have one called Room 39 by Donald Maclachlan which is Naval Intelligence in Action 1939-1945. It was the story of the room where Ian Fleming was Personal Assistant to the Director. Just finished Follett`s book "The Pillars of Fire" - loved it - the story set around the time of Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, Catholics v Huguenots (Protestants) - super fast moving story and I learned a lot of history background.
Favourite Books
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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11 of 71  Mon 18th Jun 2018 11:00am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2845

Roger Turner, Roger trying to locate some of those books I have always loved books, and being an adventurous kid wanted to act them out or visit the places to get the feeling of the authors. Carol Drinkwater was the wife of the vet in All Creatures Great and Small. went to live in Southern France, Olive Farm I read and knew the working class life of the miners and boat people, so I read all the books about the Bloomsbury Group aristocrats of the same era, the first Hippy Group, Virginia Woolf, her sister Vanessa Bell etc and visited the places Followed D.H. Lawrence round Italy, T.E. Lawrence round the Middle East, and many others. Read The Red Baron as a kid and a lot of war books, visited a number of battlefields. Books on birds, and plants when a kid. Herb Elliot and Cerruty in Oz - I could go on forever about books and places they took me to. Read a book by Hilaire Belloc who lived in a windmill, 'The four men' a walk across Sussex, 100 miles or so, so I had to do it and call at the windmill. So many pretty little villages, except one, the school got a direct hit, almost all the village kids got killed, a generation wiped out. I talked to some of the parents, I wouldn't have known, all from reading a book a century old.
Favourite Books
argon
new milton
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12 of 71  Mon 18th Jun 2018 12:39pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:195

Kaga, if your interest is history and geography I have recently found an interesting book written in 1722 by Danial Defoe, titled 'A Tour Through the Whole Islands of Great Britain'. It is interesting to get a view of the country and its everyday life in 1722 by a contemporary. I bought it from Amazon of course. Defoe visited Coventry at the time of an election and describes a pitched battle in the street between the opposing factions.
Favourite Books
Roger Turner
Torksey
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Thread starter
13 of 71  Mon 18th Jun 2018 10:16pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2014  Total posts:572

argon, That bit about the election pitched battle is valuable to another thread we have been discussing recently on the ferocity of elections of yore. Is it possible to put an extract from the book, as I am sure we would like an authentic record on here?
Favourite Books
Roger Turner
Torksey
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Thread starter
14 of 71  Mon 18th Jun 2018 11:21pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2014  Total posts:572

On 18th Jun 2018 11:00am, Kaga simpson said: Roger Turner, Roger trying to locate some of those books I have always loved books, and being an adventurous kid wanted to act them out or visit the places to get the feeling of the authors. Carol Drinkwater was the wife of the vet in All Creatures Great and Small. went to live in Southern France, Olive Farm I read and knew the working class life of the miners and boat people, so I read all the books about the Bloomsbury Group aristocrats of the same era, the first Hippy Group, Virginia Woolf, her sister Vanessa Bell etc and visited the places Followed D.H. Lawrence round Italy, T.E. Lawrence round the Middle East, and many others. Read The Red Baron as a kid and a lot of war books, visited a number of battlefields. Books on birds, and plants when a kid. Herb Elliot and Cerruty in Oz - I could go on forever about books and places they took me to. Read a book by Hilaire Belloc who lived in a windmill, 'The four men' a walk across Sussex, 100 miles or so, so I had to do it and call at the windmill. So many pretty little villages, except one, the school got a direct hit, almost all the village kids got killed, a generation wiped out. I talked to some of the parents, I wouldn't have known, all from reading a book a century old.
Yes All Creatures Great and Small, got the book well loved by my wife and self and the repeats of the TV series still being shown. Yes I also liked to "walk the turf" of some of the books I read for instance that was why I took to Scott`s "Heart of Midlothian", mind you having been at sea in the Merchant Navy in the West African trade, I wish I had read a certain book before going, I might have understood the way of life of the various peoples and tribes I met. It was called "The Four Guineas" written by Elspeth Huxley. A couple of modern paperbacks:- "Ship of Gold" by Gary Kinder - a wonderful story of an engineer who recovered gold from the wreck of a ship off the east coast of the States from roughly 3000 metres of water - he developed the craft equipped with the recovery tools capable of operating at the terrific pressures at that depth, he literally took off where the Bathyscape left off. I found it inspirational. "Empire of the Clouds" by James Hamilton - Paterson the shameful history of how we frittered away our leading position in the aircraft industry after the war and incidentally gave away the plans of the Derwent Jet Engine, free gratis and for nothing to the Russians, from which they developed the MIGs which outclassed the Yank planes in Korea. And finally a paper back quite a bit older, first published in 1960. It`s by an adventure writer I gobbled up Hammond Innes, but this is non fiction, it is the story of the places he visited to gather background materials for his novels - it`s truly fascinating. Called "Harvest of Journeys" chapter headings Arabia and the Persian Gulf, Norway and whaling, Morocco, The Low Countries, Canada. There is a fantastic account of an aircraft journey to the Yemen. Quote. Any man who can side-slip an aircraft 3000ft down a funnel through storm clouds and land on a water logged airfield without tipping up the plane on its nose must be good. Well now you are here I hope you can all handle small arms...….. we`re expecting to be attacked at any moment. This was 3 miles from the Yemen border - nothing changes!
Favourite Books
argon
new milton
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15 of 71  Tue 19th Jun 2018 11:45am  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:195

Roger, I cannot copy the text of the book but to summarize. Defoe apparently visited the city in possibly 1690 during an election and records that the inhabitants fought a pitched battle in the middle of the street. The opponents marched towards each other on opposite sides of the street until they were facing each other on a long front. A signal was given and they set to with clubs in the middle of the street. He observes that it was not the rabble and saw them to be the burghers, magistrates and even aldermen of the city.
Favourite Books

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