Post the third: Currently reading

I’m always reading loads of books at once. It’s probably a bad habit but usually I get round to finishing them off eventually. Mind you as I think about it there’s probably dozens maybe even hundreds in this category. I’ll almost certainly not get round to finishing them all, even if I can remember what they all are. But who cares?, anyway here’s a quick list of some I’m in some expectation of actually finishing.

1) Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. An example of hysterical realism I’m told. It’s the sort of thing I tend to enjoy. I don’t really like plots but I do respond to atmosphere I guess. There’s plenty of this here.

2) Salinger by David Shields and Shane Salerno.  Enjoying this so far. Written as a set of attributed footnotes but quite readable.  It’s a biography of the writer of The Catcher in The Rye, who it seems was damaged by his wartime experience.

3) The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan an account of the D-day landings in which Salinger was involved.

4) The Desert War. A Purnell’s History of WW2 Special – one my favourite books from my younger days. I counted over 50 campaign and battle maps plus numerous illustrations of equipment,  weapons and vehicles. Great stuff really, especially when your 13. Let’s create a few Memoir 44 scenarios out of this lot!

5) The Battle of the Atlantic by John Costello and Terry Hughes. The story of the U-boats and the Atlantic convoys they were attacking in WW2.  Published in the 70’s and a book I read as a schoolboy. Still worth a read today.

6) The Moscow Option by David Downing.  Alternative WW2 ‘history’ from the early 80’s. What happens when Hitler is put into a coma by a plane crash in early August 1941? All quite interesting.

This alt history seems to be all the rage at the moment although traditionally I think historians have frowned upon it, regarding it as empty speculation. Maybe it’s a sign of the times.


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