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Rf And Tm Walters "rtwalters" (London)
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True Grit
True Grit
by Charles Portis
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: 4.68

5.0 out of 5 stars A great novel, 22 Jan 2013
This review is from: True Grit (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a great western in tradition of Huckleberry Finn with some humour but also some horror along the way. It packs much into its 200 or so pages.


The Potter's Field: The Inspector Montalbano Mysteries - Book 13
The Potter's Field: The Inspector Montalbano Mysteries - Book 13
Price: 3.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Montalbano strikes again, 20 Jan 2013
I thought that this episode in the Montalbano was one of the best. All my favourite elements were there including the food, the nightmares, Livia and the other women, Caterella, the Mafia and the humour. The story was well plotted. Perfect reading for a miserable Winter's day. These books almost make up for the fact that we will not have any more Inspector Zen novels. Recommended.


Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War
Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War
by David Edgerton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revelatory Analysis of Britain's War, 19 Jan 2013
Although this book is 300 pages long with 100 pages of notes ,it could have been longer and have explained its thesis at greater length with greater coherence. That said, this is an important book which tackles three disparate issues. This is that essentially that Britain was still a great power and could win the second world war by using its economic power. Three points stand out.

Firstly, there is the question of grand strategy. Britain had great economic strength and after the debacle that resulted in the retreat from Dunkirk, it fell back on this traditional way of war. It called in its international credits and favours and prepared for what was looking like a long war. It is no surprise that Chuchill referred to Napoleon in his Dunkirk speech, that was the war Britain could wage and win. The author points out that Britain was strong enough and confident enough to wage such a war even after (or especially after) some 250,000 of its troops had been rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk. It was however necessary to have some belligerence and this was where the campaigns in the desert came from. The real blow to this strategy was events in the Far East which removed some of resources from the Empire. It was not necessary for the USA to become a fellow belligerent though this was planned for and helped to shorten the war but Britain would have won at some point nonetheless.

Secondly, there is an account of Britain's scientific and economic war which looks at some of the
issues in some detail. So we look at the Dambusters, bombing, mulberry harbours etc as well as the factory building programme.

Thirdly, there is a look at the historiography of the war which has some surprises. As with Beevor's DDay it is interesting to note how strong Britain in fact was at most times during the war.

These three elements are condensed into what can be fairly tough reading. Undoubtedly, this is one of the books on the Second World War which will be cited and argued about for some time to come. You should get the paperback edition as several minor errors have been corrected.


The Last Coal Trip to Tenby
The Last Coal Trip to Tenby
Price: 2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Thirties in the valleys, 10 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I enjoyed this memoir of life in the Rhondda in the Thirties. It shows a community reacting together to poverty and difficulties in the Thirties. A hard life but there was warmth and ,despite outward signs, a tolerance of diversity. Nonetheless the underlying background shows the reason for the institution of the welfare state after the war.
Humphries writes well and the book is easy to read. The title is slightly misleading as there is comparatively little about Tenby.


Winterreise
Winterreise
Offered by videosanddvds
Price: 12.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different take on a masterpiece, 10 Jan 2013
This review is from: Winterreise (Audio CD)
Fassbaender, a mezzo takes on Schubert's wonderful song cycle. I am not an expert on this area but this cd captivated me in a way that other versions did not. Although it does not replace Fischer- Diskeau this is very helpful and enjoyable supplement which I would recommend whole heartedly.


In the Wee Small Hours (Bonus Track Version)
In the Wee Small Hours (Bonus Track Version)
Price: 7.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Sinatra, 3 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is Sinatra at the top of his form for Capitol Records. As the title track suggests the mood in the main songs here is subdued but on acquaintance this is ,in my view , his best album. I do not think he sings any better than this.


Munich: The 1938 Appeasement Crisis
Munich: The 1938 Appeasement Crisis
by David Faber
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Prelude to war, 3 Jan 2013
This is a good account of the 1938 Munich crisis. After 70 years one would have hoped that we can have some perspective on the events of 1938. Certainly this book gives a valuable insight into the chronology and the character of the main players and how they thought. It is good on detail such as the weather etc which helps give context to the crisis.

Chamberlain was not weak but his main concern was the British Empire, the economy and winning the next election. He did not care about Germany, save that he did not want German domination of Europe and recognised that Germany had suffered from the First World but so had everyone else. The key failure was with Italy. The diplomacy with that country was fatally undermined, as the book reveals , by the interventions of Chamberlain's sister then resident in Rome. Nor was British diplomatic represention in Berlin terribly good.It cannot have helped that Halifax on his visit to Germany initially mistook Hitler for a servant and was about to give him his coat.

The passion that Munich has provoked has much to do with misunderstanding the problems under which the statesmen laboured. War was expected and the joy that greeted Munich was for the possibility that war could be avoided. Within six months the chances for peace were effectively gone with the occupation of Prague and the guarantee to Poland. Chamberlain was a broken man and would be dead by the end of 1940. Whatever Chamberlain had done there would have been war as that was Hitler's destiny and I think it hard to misjudge Chamberlain for seeking peace. On the other hand he did make many mistakes in his mission.

In summary a good book to learn about the facts around Munich And to make one own mind. One quibble is that it does go on a bit.


Angels Flight
Angels Flight
by Michael Connelly
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Bosch works it out, 1 Jan 2013
This review is from: Angels Flight (Paperback)
This is a good police procedural with enough local colour to make it realistic. It was well written without going into excessive detail but without shortcuts either. I enjoyed this with my only concerns being about timing and how the events of the novel could be reduced to such a short time. The ending left some loose ends but I will definitely read another of his books.


Cross Country: (Alex Cross 14)
Cross Country: (Alex Cross 14)
by James Patterson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

2.0 out of 5 stars Jumping the shark, 26 Dec 2012
Alex Cross must be the dullest and yet the luckiest detective ever. He gets himself rather naively into scrapes but then is released by some deus ex machina. Quite readable with short chapters and sentences. However, Cross is out of his enviroment in Africa and this leads to some longeurs as the political situation is explained. In the end only the facility of the book got me to the end.


John Rutter: Music for Christmas
John Rutter: Music for Christmas
Price: 14.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful cd, 21 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a wonderful cd of
John Rutter's Christmas carols and songs. They are very well performed and recorded. The arrangement of the songs on the album is such that there is sufficient variety to keep you interested. We have had this cd for over 10 years and it continues to delight.


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