Apologies for the lack of posts last week; there were various things that got in the way. Hopefully, normal service (such as it is) will be renewed this week. As far as reading goes, last month was pretty sparse. I did, however, get the first draft of my PhD thesis printed out. I’ve only worked on individual chapters up to this point, it’s going to be interesting reading the whole thing and seeing how (or if) it flows. This possibly means that I won’t read much next month, either!
A contender for book of the year is When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend: Reflections On Life And Ministry With Depression by Mark Meynell. The title tells you what the book is about, but what it doesn’t convey is just how excellent this book is. If you are in pastoral ministry, you must read this book, equally if you or anyone you know suffers from depression, you must read it. In other words, it’s a book that everyone should read. Go and buy it now.
I have to admit that most American military history that I’ve read has tended more towards hagiography than history. It sometimes seems that the US military is free from the chaos and incompetence that typifies most nations’ armies. The battle of Hurtgen Forest is thankfully free from the sort of hubris that affects a lot of books of this type. It tells the story of a little-known battle towards the end of the second world war which was a planning disaster from start to finish. The author draws clear parallels between what happened on the German border and the even greater disasters in SE Asia 20 years later. It’s one for military history nerds, but I enjoyed it.
I read Legacy (Fractured Era Legacy Book 1) but, ten days later, I can barely remember a thing about it. This was one of those get-the-first-book-in-the-series-for-free-deals, but I won’t be buying the rest. Best of Beyond the Stars: a space opera anthology was another cheap-on-Kindle deal, but this time I rather enjoyed it. As with any book of short stories, the content was mixed, but it was definitely worth a read. I think that The Queen of All Crows : The Map Of Unknown Things Book I may fall into what is termed SteamPunk. Perhaps things pick up in later books in the series, but I won’t be bothering to find out.
1950s crime fiction, set on the Isle of Man is something of a niche market, but The Tormentors (The Inspector Littlejohn Mysteries) is pleasant enough. The pick of this months fiction comes in the shape of three cracking detective novels set in Londonderry by Brian McGilloway (I read another one last month). This series featuring DS Lucy Black is well worth a read if you like detective fiction. The characters and relationships are well drawn, the Northern Irish setting provides added interest and the mysteries at the heart of the books are well plotted out. Unlike the other series this month, I hope that this one is extended beyond the four books; Little Girl Lost, Hurt (DS Lucy and Bad Blood. The books stand on their own as stories, but if you want to follow the development of the various relationships, it would be best to start at the beginning with Little Girl Lost.