October 2019: Reading Round-up

The latest one sentence summaries of the books I’ve read between the last round up in August and the end of October 2019.

Non-fiction

David Ross “George & Robert Stephenson: A Passion for Success”: The story of the Father of the railways and his son is a very interesting look at the development of the railways in the early 19th century, although it would have benefited from some heavier editing, and fewer critical comments about other biographers’ reviews of the Stephensons.

Charles Shaar Murray “Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Post-War Pop”: An interesting, atypical biography that looks at Hendrix’s life through the impact he had elsewhere in music.

Gavin Pretor-Pinney “The Wavewatcher’s Companion”: Fascinating exploration of everything you ever wanted to know about waves of all different types, shapes and sizes.

Thomas Levenson “The Hunt for Vulcan”: Very readable tale of how there was once a planet called Vulcan, until Einstein came along and managed to explain why it didn’t exist.

Adam Smith “Wealth of Nations”: Long, but well worth reading; Smith wouldn’t recognise the bastardised phenomenon they call “capitalism” these days.

Ed Vulliamy “When Words Fail”: Excellent autobiographical book that tries to capture the relationship between music and war (and peace) from the some time war correspondent and music critic, with a very useful bibiography and discography.

Fiction

Mel Sherratt “Hush Hush”: Very good crime thriller in which DS Grace Allendale returns to her home town of Stoke and comes up against her criminal family when investigating a series of brutal murders.

Madame de StaĆ«l “Corinne, or Italy”: Fabulous novel that is all about (the fragility of) love: between two people; of people; of culture; and of places–Italy in particular.

Hania Allen “Clearing The Dark”: Another fine tale in which Polish Detective Dania Gorska tackles more of the criminal fraternity in and around Dundee, written by my neighbour!

Poetry

Raymond Antrobus “The Perseverance”: Latest set of fabulous, soul-searching poems from the brilliant D/deaf poet, Raymond Antrobus.