Books

The Months of February and March in Books

As mentioned previously, the month of March was a complete fizzer on the book reading front.  I managed one item in total, so have added it in with the three from February.  I also managed to forget to mention a small non-fiction item that I read in January, so I’ll pop that in as well.

Here they are:

Fiction:

I repeat some of my favourite authors  this month.  P.G.Wodehouse, Sue Grafton and Terry Pratchett were the fictional authors of choice.


Leave it to Psmith
Set at Blandings, this is the story of Psmith, a young man who has fallen on hard times. For reference the P is silent and a good introduction to the nature of young Psmith.

Another formula yarn, revolving around money (lack of it) and love.  Peppered with lots of great dialogue and descriptions, it introduces you nicely to the world of Blandings and the ninth Earl of Emsworth’s family group.
There is a great deal of humour around the absurd happenings involving the Earl’s secretary – Baxter – and the terrace flower pots.

A great read.  There are 33 reviews at Amazon.com and the average rating is 5/5 stars.  That sums it up nicely.

T is for Trespass
A fascinating, but chilling story set around the themes of identity theft and elder abuse.  Kinsey becomes involved when one of her irascible neighbours has a fall and requires nursing care.The nurse turns out to be anything but what she seems.

It’s rather frightening to think that there may be real people out in our communities for whom lying and deception of this kind are second nature and ‘normal’.

Another well written story in the Kinsey Milhone series.

Nation
This is the latest Young Adult work from Terry Pratchett.
The setting is the aftermath of a tsunami on a small island known to the lead character, Mau, as the Nation.  Into the Nation comes a young European girl and together they begin to rebuild a community of survivors.
It explores some bigger issues like religious belief and what goes into making a civilization, but within an entertaining context.
Highly recommended, even if you are not a huge Pratchett fan.

Non-Fiction:

Bertrand Russell in 90 Minutes

I cannot honestly recommend this title.
As it stands, three months later, if you asked me any questions about Bertrand Russell’s philosophy or private life, I would be at a loss to give a coherent response.
In fairness, it is a small book and no doubt I am not the most philosophically minded reader to have flipped open its pages.  However, I would like to think that I have the ability to retain information, and clearly this shortened primer just didn’t have what it takes to make that information interesting enough to stick with me.

Losing My Virginity
I have an older copy of this autobiography at home.  It ends just after the notorious British Airways dirty tricks campaign.  It has probably been updated yet again, as that was some ten-odd years ago now.

I must confess at the outset that Richard Branson just doesn’t flick my switch.  Clearly he’s a very in-your-face type of business man, and that’s what makes people love or loathe him.  Personally I like low-key.  However, it was interesting to read his basic business philosophy as it was woven through his ‘life-to-date’.  You get a little bit of personal stuff, mixed in with some of his business and personal adventures.
If you’re interested in what makes such an energetic man tick, then it’s worth borrowing from the library.  Oh, and if the recounting of things around the dirty tricks campaign is a fair assessment of what BA were up to, then as a business person I can tell you that it probably goes to show the worst possible ethics you could ever display in an attempt to retain a virtual monopoly.  Unfortunately we will probably never really know the extent to which they took their shenanigans.

***

That’s all for now.  I will have one or two items from April next month.  Maybe more if I stop writing this and get out my huge bedside pile of books instead.

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