Books you're reading... and should read. | Vital Football

Books you're reading... and should read.

NottyImp

Vital Football Legend
#1
"Hitler's Big Gamble" by Ellman.

I like a bit of WW2 history, especially the Eastern Front. It's a decent summary of German strategic aims and choices in WW2.
 

Sincilbanks

Vital 1st Team Regular
#2
If Only They Didn't Speak English - Jon Sopel
On the Road:Adventures from NIxon to Trump - James Naughtie
The End is Always Near - Dan Carlin
 

Impecunious

Vital Squad Member
#3
Usually have two on the go, one new to me and one old favourite. At the moment it's Bill Bryson's tour of small town USA - The Lost Continent for the first time. Strange mixture of dated but still relevant.
The old favourite is The Reverse of the Medal, the 11th of Patrick O'Brian's 21 novels about the navy of Nelson's time. That is the binding thread but they are much more than that, a commentary on the political, intelligence gathering and social history of the time.
 

NottyImp

Vital Football Legend
#4
Usually have two on the go, one new to me and one old favourite. At the moment it's Bill Bryson's tour of small town USA - The Lost Continent for the first time. Strange mixture of dated but still relevant.
The old favourite is The Reverse of the Medal, the 11th of Patrick O'Brian's 21 novels about the navy of Nelson's time. That is the binding thread but they are much more than that, a commentary on the political, intelligence gathering and social history of the time.
Love the Patrick O'Obrian novels! Re-read the whole series every few years or so. A superb writer and unmatched in that genre imho.
 

Croozey

Vital 1st Team Regular
#6
It's about time we had some much needed culture on this site.
I would like to recommend these in the football auto-biography genre. if you don't read much, these might be your cup of tea.
Graham Taylor -'In his own words'. - Graham had been keeping scrapbooks and making notes about his career most of his life. It was only a few years before he died that he started to collate everything and put it together with a view to having it published. It wasn't published until after he died, but it's all his own thoughts and words. About his school days in Scunthorpe, his playing days at Grimsby Town and Lincoln City. Managing Lincoln, and the great team of the mid 70's, Watford, Elton John , Aston Villa and Deadly Doug Ellis, and the Turnip years when he was the England manager. I really enjoyed it.
Paul Merson- 'How not to be a Professional Footballer'- An interesting character. Addicted to everything. Drugs, booze, gambling. His times with Arsenal, why he moved from the then Premier League champions to Middlesbrough. His England experiences, in particular under Glenn Hoddle. A great read and very funny.
Kevin Keegan - 'My life in football'. - He tells a good story. Luck and chance played a big part in his career. Son of a miner, he left school, due to his small stature, without a club and went to work in a factory. He played for the works 2nd X1 and due to a chap in the opposition being a former scout at Scunthorpe, he got a trial. Within a couple of years he was playing for Liverpool and England. He tells about the infamous punch up with Billy Bremner in the 1974 Charity Shield. The only English player to win 2 x Ballon D'or, 2 European Cups, England Captain and manager. His appearance in the Superstars, when he fell off his bike, his times in Germany with Hamburg and the 1982 World Cup finals. Newcastle Utd as a player and as a manager, "Love it!!" his stint as England manager and his return to the Toon and his views as to what he was up against with the regime of Mike Ashley.
 

stokeimp

Vital Squad Member
#7
Currently reading "Inspector George Gently", the first two stories - interestingly neither are in the North East - he's a Scotland Yard detective, and the first case he was on holiday around Norwich, and the second story he's seconded to a fictional Great Yarmouth (I think). I'm going to try a Dalziel and Pascoe next. I've found some of these books of TV detectives aren't as good as the TV - exceptions are Frost, a very entertaining set of reads, and Wallander, which I'll soon be re re reading again

Previous two books, given to me by my lads, were a part history/part puzzle book on Bletchley Park, and "The Villain", a biography on Don Whillans (the climber) - I've got quite a few and read quite a bit of outdoor type books. Wouldn't mind reading a biography on Messner, but there don't seem to be any "one stop shop" type books

My favourite author is Thomas Hardy (ever since I read Tess for A level), and have collected an assortment of all his novels. It's time I started re re reading them again in sequence, but from time to time do look at my favourites, ie Tess, The Woodlanders and Return of the Native. I also enjoy some of his poetry - my favourite is "A Trampwoman's Tragedy", a sad tale in verse

Got a number of football books, mainly (but not exclusively) related to LCFC, and Brian Clough

Some political books as well, but am more choosy on them

A couple of ad hoc biographies which are interesting are "Failure is not an Option" about Gene Kranz, Flight Director at NASA, and "Chasing Shadows" by Naomi Gryn about her father, Rabi Hugo Gryn - it starts a bit slowly with him growing up in Czechoslovakia, but eventually takes us through his and his families experience at Auschwitz - certainly not an easy read, and should maybe be a set text - I certainly got my lads to read it

Talking of books I imposed on my sons, "The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists" is the one they remember
 

Impecunious

Vital Squad Member
#9
Stokeimp's mention of reading 'Tess' for GCE reminds me 'Under the Greenwood Tree' was the set text for 'O' level English Lit. Our learned, eccentric, Auden quoting English teacher hated it and all but refused to have anything to do with it. I enjoyed it, as I do most books that open a door on another time.
On another subject how the hell did the sheltered daughter of a clergyman come up with the plot of 'Wuthering Heights'.
 

NottyImp

Vital Football Legend
#10
Stokeimp's mention of reading 'Tess' for GCE reminds me 'Under the Greenwood Tree' was the set text for 'O' level English Lit. Our learned, eccentric, Auden quoting English teacher hated it and all but refused to have anything to do with it. I enjoyed it, as I do most books that open a door on another time.
On another subject how the hell did the sheltered daughter of a clergyman come up with the plot of 'Wuthering Heights'.
On another subject how the hell did the sheltered daughter of a clergyman come up with the plot of 'Wuthering Heights'.[/QUOTE]

Sexual repression.
 

MaineRoad_96

Vital 1st Team Regular
#13
Funnily enough the extra time in lockdown led me to revisit the first two of the Patrick O’Brian books. First read them as a teenager and they are still as enthralling.

If anyone is after an alternative WW2 history I’d recommend ‘Blitzed’ by Norman Ohler - fascinating, if terrifying, insight into the Nazi hierarchy.

Re: sport books Duncan Hamilton never seems to write a bad one but ‘A Last English Summer’ is superb.
 

plumbob

Vital Football Hero
#15
Given the big difference in the number of posts on film/music threads and this one, I'm guessing there aren't many avid readers on here.
Maybe we should read a book about how good books are!
 

Rob the Imp

Vital 1st Team Regular
#20
Quite like books by the likes of Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden, Simon Scarrow. I do like to read a variety though so I'll give most things a try. Other ones worth a look are The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz - WWII escape from a work camp story, supposedly all true, Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics by Jonathan Wilson, and A Season With Verona by Tim Parks is another good football one.