Sunday, 30 April 2023

Reading in April 2023

Finished Reading

JRR Tolkien, The Father Christmas Letters

A series of delightful stories (delightfully illustrated) which come from letters written over a 20-year period by Tolkien to his children.

Apparently latter editions (published as Letters from Father Christmas) contain material not included in this one, and I'll certainly seek a copy out.

Paul Gannon, Inside Room 40

In this interesting and well-written book, Gannon looks at British codebreaking in World War I.  In doing so, he dispells some of the myths (deliberately planted he suggests) about the foundation and operation of Room 40.

As well as the Admiralty's Room 40 he looks at what little is known of the War Office's equivilent MI 1(a).  Work between the two wasn't co-ordinated and there was little co-operation before 1916, but broadly Room 40 (or ID 25 as it was properly known later in the war) concentrated on wireless intercepts, whereas MI 1(a) worked on cable intercepts.  As well as providing naval and military intelligence they each worked on political (ie, diplomatic) intelligence, with important results - most famously the interception and publishing of the Zimmermann Telegram.

JRR Tolkien, The Silmarillion

Carrying on from last month, I continued reading The Silmarillion in conjunction with episodes of The Prancing Pony Podcast, which considers a chapter in each episode.  That proved a very profitable was of doing it.  It was something of a time committment though - the podcast spent over 60 hours of audio discussing the book!

Kim Newman, Something More Than Night

Raymond Chandler and Boris Karloff team up to fight horrors in 30s Hollywood, written in Newman's inimical style.  Fun stuff.

Larry Niven, Ringworld

One of those books that I could never remember whether I'd read or not.  I'm nown pretty sure I hadn't.

1 comment:

  1. I'm on a new line of WH40K crime based books by various authors set in the Hive City of Varengantua (I thought it a silly name, but whatever...). Some of the books are anthologies of short stories and some a novels. And some of the novels promise more of the central characters in the future.

    So far, quite enjoying them, on and off. Nothing too taxing.


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