There’s a conversation going on over there on the side about books and I thought it might be a worthwhile subject for all of us to share our favorites. I’ve got quite a few but for now I’ll limit myself to a just couple of authors. The first is Len Deighton, I loved all his espionage stories and read them as fast as he wrote them, I was always in a state of expectancy awaiting the next chapter in his ongoing sagas. After a series of generally unrelated novels in the 60’s and 70’s he came up with a character Bernard Sampson in 1983, he’s a British agent operating mostly in Europe throughout the cold war.
He wrote a trilogy based on this character which comprised:
Berlin Game, 1983
Mexico Set, 1984
London Match, 1985
These were so successful that in 1988 he continued the series with a second trilogy, this one was:
Spy Hook, 1988
Spy Line, 1989
Spy Sinker, 1990
And in 1994 he released the last in the series:
All nine novels are closely related, they all have the same cast of characters and the stories interrelate. They’re a fabulous read, but you must start at the beginning.
Right in the middle, in 1987 he wrote a ‘prequel’ to the series, ‘Winter’, it’s a standalone novel but it also relates historically to the cast of characters in the trilogies, I found it to be fascinating but I don’t know where to suggest in the chronology it fits ideally, perhaps right in the middle where once you know the characters it provides historical background.
He’s also written many non fiction books all of which are very worthwhile including one that I think is the best in it’s field:
Blood, Tears and Folly: An Objective Look at World War II, 1993
If you want to get an understanding about what was going on in that period, then this is well worth reading.
There’s a large blog of readers devoted to his work, it’s at:
There’s one other author that I’d like to recommend, Bill Bryson, I’ve enjoyed most of his work but there’s one book that I think is fabulous, it’s:
“A short History of Nearly Everything”. It’s the history of science which you might think sounds deadly dull but it isn’t, it reads like a thriller and is extremely interesting, I literally could not put it down and since 2003 I’ve read it three times. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
OK, Those are mine for now, what are yours?