Books I Have Read: August 2015

Five novels, a book about the Tour De France and another about the Church and mission – my light reading for August.

The problem with doing a PhD (or at least one of them) is that much of your reading time is given over to papers from journals and such like. I’ve got a few books sitting on my shelves that I really want to read, but just have’t been able to get round to. This means that most of my reading this month has been bed-time leisure reading. However, just in case you are on the lookout for something not particularly stretching; here goes.

Christian Books

What on Earth is the Church For?: A Blueprint for the Future for Church-based Mission and Social Action is an excellent read. I don’t agree with all of Dave Devenish’s views on church government, but that doesn’t detract from this book at all. If you are involved in church leadership or mission work, you should get hold of this. According to Amazon, they have copies available for less than a pound (I dread to think what the postage is), so now is the time to check it out.


I thoroughly enjoyed Etape: The untold stories of the Tour de France’s defining stages a book which basically does what it says on the cover. It picks a series of crucial stages in the Tour over the years and focussing on one rider, it tells the story of what happens. Some of the riders chosen are winners, one or two are drug cheats and at least one had a very nasty fall and was badly injured. This is a warts and all story of cycle racing and won’t fail to interest anyone who rides a bike or just spends hours glued to cycle racing on TV.


The Golden Hour (A Judd Ryker Novel) is a fairly bog-standard story about international terrorism and the internal politics of the United States. The story moves along at a good pace and wraps up with a somewhat unbelievable ending. However, what sets the book apart is that it is based in Mali and actually describes the country pretty well. OK, there are some details that are wrong, but unless you’ve lived or worked there, you would be unlikely to notice them. If you’ve ever read the execrable Sahara by Clive Cussler (or even worse, seen the movie), you should read this just to get a better picture of the country.

Leigh Russell writes police procedural novels, some of which have been available at a low price on Kindle recently. To be honest, I can’t quite make up my mind about them; the stories are entertaining enough, but he doesn’t seem to be able to create characters that I want to spend time with. I just don’t care very much about the detectives or the villains in these books – but as I say, the mysteries are entertaining enough to keep me returning. His first series of books was about a DI Geraldine Steel and he followed this up with another series about her former Sergeant Ian something or other. One advantage of these books is that the chapters are really short, so they are easy to read before falling asleep. If you can find them for a quid or less, they are worth getting hold of; I’m not sure I’d pay more.

Oh, and somewhere in August, I managed to run something like 150 miles – I’m pretty pleased with that.

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