01 January 2011

More reading in 2011

One thing I certainly resolve to do this year is read more. For some reason I have read relatively few books (by my standards anyway). I think the rot set in when I damaged my knee and spent a lot of time housebound. That should have been the ideal opportunity to make inroads into the huge pile of unread books and DVDs in the back bedroom but I found myself lacking the energy or concentration. Even when I was mobile again I was not reading much,

This will change. I've just started Napoleon is Dead: Lord Cochrane and the Great Stock Exchange Scandal by Richard Dale, a very readable account of a scandal that ended with the disgrace of Lord Thomas Cochrane, one of stars of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars (and he was up against a lot of stiff competition) and a national hero (and one of my personal heroes).

The Great man himself

Perhaps as a result of his disgrace (I am not convinced he was guilty) he went on to be a hero in South America, being instrumental in the the Independence of both Chile and Brazil. The Chilean Navy has had at least four vessels bearing his name (a fifth was under construction in Britain when WWI, It was commandeered by the Royal Navy, converted into the Aircraft Carrier HMS Eagle). The Royal Navy has had two ships named HMS Cochrane and a shore establishment in Rosyth.

The Current Almirante Cochrane when still HMS Norfolk

But I digress. Despite the huge pile of unread books in the back bedroom my next read (or read after next) will be Architects of the Resurrection by R M Douglas.This deals with a small political party Ailtirí na hAiséirghe created in 1942.

Accoding to Wikipedia the party's objectives included the creation of a one party state under the rule of an all-powerful leader; the criminalisation of the public use of the English language; discriminatory measures against Jews; the building-up of a massive conscript army; and the reconquest of Northern Ireland.

Apparently it had support from people who went on to be influential in politics and other fields later in life.

I will be interested to read more about this fascist rabble


CherryPie said...

I have a huge backlog of books that I need to catch up on.

Kay Dennison said...

I made a rule for myself a couple decades ago that I have to read every night before I go to sleep and I've pretty much kept it. I usually have two books going -- one fiction and one non-fiction.

Thanks for the titles! I need to read more non-fiction and these look interesting. Then again, the "to read piles" next to my bed might topple if I add more.

jams o donnell said...

All good people do Cherie!

The Book about the Stock Market fraud is very interesting stuff Kay. Still I bet I will buy more books despite the pile still to read!

Claude said...

Hard to believe that if I had not met you, I would have totally missed The Poor Mouth, (which I won in your contest), The Third Policeman (which I bought thereafter,) and The Master and Margarita (which I got in exchanger for Canadian Maple candies.) 2010 was a great year for me. I'm not sure I could do much better. I'll see what 2011 brings....

beakerkin said...

I try to read the military history books, prior to reading the historical fiction. For example I read a few accounts of the Battle of Oriskany before reading Drums Along the Mohawk.

I did manage 8 of nine Kenneth Roberts novels. I couldn't read the ninth because shipwreck stories other than Lord of the Flies bore the hell out of me.

Maybe I will locate a decent historical fiction novel about the forever sea sick James Wolfe from the French and Indian War.

nursemyra said...

I average 8 books a month, nearly all of them are non fiction. Architects of the Resurrection looks pretty damn scary.... then again, I read a lot about murder and crime so who am I to talk....

Claude said...

Of course, I wasn't talking about other good books I had read but only the very special ones I discovered tru The Poor Mouth. I'm rereading a lot of Herman Hesse because of Omnium's blog. I had read him in French in my 20s. It's really something to savour him in English.

Most of my non-fiction are biographies (mostly musicians and writers) in French and English. Today's politicians bore me. But I did enjoy Disraeli by André Maurois. I read a lot about Napoléon. The more I learn, the more I despise him.

jams o donnell said...

Well Claude you won The Third Policeman fair and square and those candies were delicious! Here's hoping 2011 comes along with something even better!

For historical fiction I would strongly recommend Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey and Maturin books. They are superb although you will need a glossary of naval terms (he made no allwoance to his readers on that mater). They have struck me as the works Jane Austen may have written if she had used her brothers (both Naval captains - one became Admiral of the Fleet) as central characters in her books

You are a voracious reader Nursie. Architects does sound rather disturbing, I should have my copy next week

I devoured Hesse in my late teens and earl 20s. I tried reding him again later but it lost the spark. I must try some of his choice books again. As for Napoleon he was a despicable character in so many respects. I despise his complete lack of concern for his men. Wellingtom on the other hand was not likeable but he was far more careful about getting his men killed