Archive for Books

Power Trip - A Decade of Policy, Plots and Spin by Damian McBride

Power Trip: A Decade of Policy, Plots and Spin by Damian McBride

21 August 2014 , , , ,
The newly updated paperback version of Damian McBride's book adds but a little to the original hardback edition.
The Climb - Chris Froome

Chris Froome: The Climb – is it fair to Bradley Wiggins?

1 August 2014 , , , ,
I suspect Chris Froome’s account of his rise to cycling success didn’t come out quite as he intended, but that is a boon for the reader because he doesn’t come out of several parts of the book that well. Central to this is his relationship, or rather non-relationship, with Bradley Wiggins. Froome doesn’t persistently put […]
Bryant and May and The Memory of Blood - book cover

Bryant & May and The Memory of Blood

31 July 2014 , ,
It's a sign of how enjoyable and good Christopher Fowler's Bryant & May detective series is that it got to a ninth volume, The Memory of Blood.
Who Decides by Paul Tyler - book cover

Who Decides? Paul Tyler’s new book is well worth a read

9 July 2014 ,
Who Decides? by Paul Tyler is like an excellent after dinner speaker - not too long, with plenty of laughs and a bit of knowledge imparted.
Secret Warriors by Taylor Downing

Secret Warriors: key scientists, code-breakers and propagandists of the Great War

7 July 2014 ,
Taylor Downing’s book promises much but in the end doesn’t quite deliver. It is packed full with stories about talented individuals whose inventions, innovations and improvements not only changed the way wars are fought but had a huge knock-on impact on civilian life too. The book has a welcome broad approach to what counts as […]
The Mystery of a Hansom Cab

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab: mostly forgotten, for a reason

17 June 2014
Despite having an occasional interest in late 19th century detective novels which extends beyond Sherlock Holmes, I had never heard of Fergus Hume’s The Mystery of a Hansom Cab until very recently. Which made discovering that it was the best-selling crime novel of the nineteenth century, and what’s more a book that as late as 1954 […]
Kim Philby - by Tim Milne

Kim Philby: The Unknown Story of the KGB’s Master-Spy

14 June 2014 , ,
Tim Milne’s account of his life as a secret intelligence officer, including a colleague of Kim Philby, is perhaps best described as an interesting footnote. For anyone completely new to the story of Kim Philby’s MI6 career and treachery, Milne’s account does not fully cover the ground of the main events. But if you already […]
The Enemy at the Gate - book cover

The Enemy at the Gate: Habsburgs, Ottomans and the Battle for Europe

13 June 2014
Andrew Wheatcroft's history of the Great Siege of Vienna in 1683, The Enemy at the Gate: Habsburgs, Ottomans and the Battle for Europe, is a great account of one of the key moments of conflict between Christianity and Islam in Europe.
Brave New World: first edition cover

Aldous Huxley: When an author is just too successful

15 May 2014 , ,
I’m sure I must have read Brave New World years ago as there’s a copy on my bookshelf and I’m as likely to put an unread book on my shelves as I am to remove a book from my shelves and bin it. I trust my filing system over my memory.
Revolt on the Right: Explaining Support for the Radical Right in Britain

Book Review: Revolt on the Right by Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin

25 April 2014 , , , ,
One of the political debates over UKIP is the question of whether it is primarily taking its support from disgruntled Conservatives or not. Leading the charge for the ‘yes’ camp are several recent large-scale polls (or conglomeration of separate polls) from reputable polling companies. Looking at how people who currently say they’ll vote UKIP behaved […]