July 2018: Reading

A bit of history, a bit of virology, some practical theology and six murder mysteries.

I didn’t manage to finish many books this month, but I did discover an excellent new murder mystery series.

Work – Theology

Foundations for Mission: A Study of Language, Theology and Praxis from the UK and Ireland Perspective is a long title for a fairly short book. This one covers one of the areas that I am researching but looks at a wider range of churches and agencies than I’m covering. Thankfully, the results are pretty much in line with what I have found. There is a section towards the back which includes some quotes from interviews with mission leaders. I’m pretty sure that a few of them come from me, but they were a long time ago, so I can’t be sure.

Other Non-Fiction

One of the reasons that I didn’t finish many books this month is that two of the non-fiction books I read were rather long. The Battle for the Rhine 1944: Arnhem and the Ardennes, the Campaign in Europe is very good and should be compulsory reading for anyone who thinks that the movie “Patton” is historically accurate! Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World is both exhaustive and exhausting. Given that the 1918 flu pandemic is arguably the most important event of the twentieth century it is concerning that people are so unaware of it, however, I’m not sure that this is the book to redress that balance. It is too detailed for the casual reader and doesn’t have enough new information for people who are interested in the subject.

Detective Fiction

I quite enjoyed Bad to the Bone (DI Bliss Book 1) at the time I read it, but four weeks later I can remember very little about it other than I learned more about the geography of Peterborough than I ever wished to know.

The discovery of the month was a series of novels by Marsali Taylor which are variously described as the Cas Lynch Mysteries, the Shetland Sailing Mysteries and the Shetland Mysteries. So far, I’ve read five of the six books and they’ve all been excellent. The stories revolve around Cassandre Lynch, a young woman who lives on a boat in the Shetlands. They stand on their own feet as murder mysteries, but the depth of the characters, the growing relationships and the Shetland setting lift them out of the ordinary. Oh and you learn a lot about sailing, too. To my mind, the background in the Shetlands is used much more effectively than in Anne Cleeves’ Jimmy Perez books. Death on a Longship (Cass Lynch Mysteries Series Book 1) is the first in the series and, perhaps, the weakest – but it is still very good. The others that I’ve read, so far, are Trowie Mound Murders (Cass Lynch Mysteries Series Book 2)A Handful of Ash (Cass Lynch Mysteries Series Book 3The Body in the Bracken (Cass Lynch Mysteries Series Book 4 and Ghosts of the Vikings (The Shetland Sailing Mysteries Book 5) I commend them to you.

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