Monday, 4 October 2021

Books and Stuff (NS, No 20) - Reading in Sep 2021

 Finished Reading

James S A Corey, Abaddon's Gate

The third book in 'The Expanse' series.

The answer to what the Protomolecule is doing on Venus seems to be closer with its creation of an artifact that is placed in the Outer Solar System.  But as the planetary governments posture and scramble to be on-site, it becomes clear that the problems they are going to face are ones they're bringing with them.

Terry Pratchett, A Slip of the Keyboard

A collection of some of Pratchett's non-fiction writings, many autobiographical.  There's humour here (I laughed out loud a couple of times), but also musings on writing and the nature of fantasy.  And of course, towards the end, he was writing a lot about dementia and assisted dying,

Julian Whitehead, Rebellion in the Reign of Charles II

This is a book that has been sat by my bed for a while (I see that I started reading it in January).  The fact I haven't been reading isn't a reflection on the book itself - which I found excellent.

This is a chronological study of the many threats (both real and imagined) to the Restoration of the monarchy, Charles's own reign, or Duke of York's right of succession.  It does so by examining the intellegence-gathering functions of the various Secretaries of State (not above plotting themselves).

Fredrich Durrenmatt, The Judge and His Hangman

According to the blurb this is genre-bending and a precursor of post-modernist fiction.  Well, perhaps -  I don't know what impact it would have had when it was published in 1950.

To me it wasn't special, and  (with nothing to back it up) I'm sure had been done before.

Currently Reading

J D Davies, Kings of the Sea: Charles II, James II & The Royal Navy

This I'd been looking forward to reading.

The Restoration navy is neglected both by general and naval historians - and when Charles and James's role is mentioned it's as dilettantes, only interested in yatching and gingerbread decoration.  

But Davies is an authority, and perhaps only he can only shift the prism of Pepys's writings to demonstrate that the kings had a real knowledge of naval matters and were behind many of the developments in 'Pepys's Navy'.


  1. I’ve been curious about the Kings of the Sea book. My dad was a retired naval officer who talked.a lot about the good things that James did for the senior service.

    1. I would heartily recommend it. It's very well written, authorative and has some fantastic illustrations.


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