Thursday, July 16, 2015

Holiday reading book catch up...

..a week on a sun bed in Greece can be hard work, someone has to do it though... 

I did manage to make some serious in roads into my reading pile though, and was very lucky as without a doubt they were all well worth reading..

Been sat on my reading pile for a while now but an opportunity arose so I picked this up...  1942 was a bit of a watershed year in the North Africa campaign... Auchinleck had taken command in the theatre, Churchill was being Churchill (bless him..) pushing him constantly for results and action..  Rommel had pushed the British back to Gazala, where both sides basically dug in, and raced to reinforce...  while the British put their faith in fortified boxes surrounded by barbed wire and mines, Rommel launched his assault with a wide swing round the open southern end of the line...  and met the Free French at Bir Hacheim..  the stuff of legends... I thought the book did very well to try and describe what was a complete 'mess' of a battle which ended with Rommel getting his Field Marshal's baton....  recommended ...  8/10

Superb...  Captain Correlli country, but not the nice boy/Nicholas Cage model, more the actual reality I suspect... set on Lefkas during the WWII invasion by Italy, and later Germany....  three pre-war friends meet later on opposite sides of the divide that forms with the war...  I thought Scarrow made a good fist of what must have been a very difficult time for the Greeks - the story is about the resistance, and how the Italians, and later the Germans reacted, set against an Indiana Jones'eque sub plot of a missing archaeological site.. the author makes the point that their stubborn resistance during the war has modern day parallels with their current financial position perhaps?? 8/10

Difficult to believe that this is now the seventh book in this excellent series, but this is as good as any of the previous ones.. the year is 1215, for the historians amongst us the year of Magna Carta. King John is still on the throne but a succession of misadventures in Europe has seen him lose the lands won by his brother Richard, and his efforts to reverse this have lead to swingeing taxes to pay for the wars, and increasing opposition from the Barons..  after losing the Battle of Bouvines [clicky] (one of the most important battles we have never heard of!) civil war breaks out, and eventually John is forced to the negotiation table..  Packed full or period flavour, lots and lots of plots and sub plots, fantastic..  9/10

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