wpid-20150125_180421_bolsover-grove.jpg.jpegHere is the second batch of books that I have so far acquired this year, another seven titles to add to the previous seven. So far that makes 14, and my paper book resolution target is still at 20 (but only just, I said I’d try and read five more than I acquired).

Like the previous batch there are a couple of late 2014 acquisitions in this group, but some of these are genuine new books of 2015 for me. Here are some of the reasons that I have chosen these titles (where I did choose them, one was an unexpected present).

Up Against It by M.J. Locke

I saw this recommended on Charlie Stross‘s blog by the man himself. It was cited as being a very good view of the harshness of life in space, especially if you were trying to understand what would happen if people started to colonise the solar system. Not a space opera fantasy, but a very hard current understanding of physics science fiction. Seeing as I really like Charlie’s work, and I am also trying to write a hard SF story that involved people living in orbit I thought that this was worth acquiring. I did get it in the second half of 2014, but it is now near the top of the paper reading list. This is one of the ‘extra five’ I used for calculating the reading target for paper books in my 2015 resolution.

T-Force: Forgotten Heroes of 1945 by Sean Longden

An amazon recommendation. I picked it out to add to my wish list at the time for two reasons. The first was that I’d previously read Sean Longden’s work on Dunkirk. This is a well covered subject yet he’d managed to find a new angle and his prose was very easy to read. Secondly the subject matter is one of interest, we tend to forget about the aftermath of war and particularly for WW2 where the start of the cold war just covers up everything in Europe from Germany’s collapse. There was this mad scramble to recover value from the ruins by the Allied powers and several post war advances depended on this. Not least the US Space Program.

1939 Countdown to War by Richard Overy

In a end of line sale from the Naval & Military Press is what brought this to my attention, it was very cheap indeed. The subject matter dropped it into the basket. Most accounts of the start of WW2 cover either the nazi attempts to annex neighbouring countries in a broad sweep or the detail of the invasion of Poland. This takes the detail back to the beginning of 1939, although it must still be fairly broad brush as it is a slim volume.

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Whatever. Not really a recommendation but more I enjoyed Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series and thought that I might read more of his fiction. So I put a few titles on my wish list, including this one. I am expecting it to be comedy Sci Fi and a more than a bit of a piss-take of Star Trek.

The Elfish Gene by Mark Barrowclough

I was bought this as a present. The blurb looks interesting enough, the author played Dungeons and Dragons as a kid in the 70s and reflects on what good it did him. Can’t have done him much harm as he is employed and has a family. Also he’s written a book on the back of it…

La Terre Vue du Fiel by Jul

A book of French cartoons by one of the Charlie Hebdo artists. When we all said ‘Je suis Charlie’ I went and bought a book by a Charlie Hebdo artist to help show support. Almost everything was sold out at the time. However, this was available. My french isn’t bad but the colloquial usually defeats me. I do like the cartoons, even though many are clearly deliberately provocative. I won’t be counting this as read because it is mainly pictures, but I have read it (with a little help from Google translate in places).

NGLND XPX by Ian Hutson

I found this by following a link from twitter to a book review of it. The whole premise was intriguing, short stories in an alternative British Empire that had survived to space. A little more than just straight steampunk Victoriana. Not quite a must have it now moment but enough that it got added to my wish list for later. This is by an indie author and I like to encourage the good ones (both by buying their work and through sharing ideas).

[It is worth a side note on wish list adding. Generally I try not to buy paper books, this is a combination of space availability and self awareness that I am not reading them as fast as they accumulate. So the solution is to delay the immediate gratification, any that still interest me some time later are purchased. It also provides relatives an indication of my areas of interest when Christmas and birthdays come around.]


Book seller recommended 2
Following an author 1
Social recommendations 3
Given as a present 1