I'm getting to the age where I am wondering if I'll live long enough to read them all! I am still progressing gradually through 'The Story of Britain' by Sir Roy Strong, superb book but there's awful lot of it! Waiting for me in my super-duper Kindle, the greatest invention since sliced bread, is the 'LA Quartet' by James Ellroy who is, I suspect 'a very naughty boy'! But this week the bloody Spectator - which I urge you to subscribe to - has a couple of book reviews which I am quite unable to resist. All I wonder is whether or not my titchy, skinny, little Kindle will be able to squeeze them in?
The first is a 'must have' - and if SoD is reading this he should buy a copy quick! It is called "Our Boys: The Story of a Paratrooper" by a lady, Ms. Helen Parr, who is the niece of the late Dave Parr, a 19-year old private in 2 Para who was killed in the Falklands in 1982 by incoming artillery fire. I gather that the book is part biography of Pte. Parr but also part history of the Parachute Regiment and it's development, including the 'naughty bits'! There is one particularly galling fact that Pte. Parr's eventual funeral in England, attended by many of his comrades who knew the secret that he had been killed by 'friendly fire' but the family did not!
Then, I'm afraid, it's 'more war' in the form of the latest book by one of the very best modern historians, Max Hastings. It is on the subject of arguably the most devastating war since the end of WWII - "Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy". Well, any war is a tragedy but it is amazing how the Vietnam war, which absolutely dominated the world when it was raging, has sort of sunk into oblivion. Possibly, or probably, because no-one came out of it with much credit! Anyway, I don't know that much about it so I will have to buy it. You can read Saul David's review at The Spectator.